What Are the Similarities and Differences in Marine Boundary Layer Cloud and Drizzle Microphysical Properties During the ACE-ENA and MARCUS Field Campaigns?

Alexa R. Marcovecchio, Baike Xi, Xiaojian Zheng, Peng Wu, Xiquan Dong, Ali Behrangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study compares macrophysical and microphysical properties of single-layered, liquid-dominant MBL clouds from the Measurements of Aerosols, Radiation, and Clouds over the Southern Ocean (MARCUS) (above 60°S) and the ARM East North Atlantic (ENA) site during the Aerosol and Cloud Experiments in Eastern North Atlantic (ACE-ENA) field campaign. A total of 1,136 (16.5% of clouds) and 6,034 5-min cloud samples are selected from MARCUS and ARM ENA in this study. MARCUS clouds have higher cloud-top heights, thicker cloud layers, larger liquid water path, and colder cloud temperatures than ENA. Thinner, warmer MBL clouds at ENA can contain higher layer-mean liquid water content due to higher cloud and ocean surface temperatures along with greater precipitable water vapor (PWV). MARCUS has a higher drizzle frequency rate (71.8%) than ENA (45.1%). Retrieved cloud and drizzle microphysical properties from each field campaign show key differences. MARCUS clouds feature smaller cloud droplets, whereas ENA clouds have larger cloud droplets, especially at the upper region of the cloud. From cloud top to cloud base, drizzle drop sizes increase while number concentrations decrease. Drizzle drop radius and number concentration decrease from cloud base to drizzle base due to net evaporation, and MARCUS' lower specific humidity leads to a higher drizzle base than ENA. The broader surface pressure and lower tropospheric stability (LTS) distributions during MARCUS have demonstrated that there are different synoptic patterns for selected cases during MARCUS with less PWV, while ENA is dominated by high pressure systems with nearly doubled PWV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022JD037109
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume128
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 2023

Keywords

  • MBL clouds
  • cloud microphysics
  • drizzle microphysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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