Original Paper

Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 118, Issue 3, pp 199-214

First online:

Investigation of aerosol indirect effects on simulated flash-flood heavy rainfall over Korea

  • Kyo-Sun Sunny LimAffiliated withPacific Northwest National LaboratoryDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences and Global Environment Laboratory, College of Sciences, Yonsei University
  • , Song-You HongAffiliated withDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences and Global Environment Laboratory, College of Sciences, Yonsei University Email author 

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This study investigates aerosol indirect effects on the development of heavy rainfall near Seoul, South Korea, on 12 July 2006, focusing on precipitation amount. The impact of the aerosol concentration on simulated precipitation is evaluated by varying the initial cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) number concentration in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Double-Moment 6-class (WDM6) microphysics scheme. The simulations are performed under clean, semi-polluted, and polluted conditions. Detailed analysis of the physical processes that are responsible for surface precipitation, including moisture and cloud microphysical budgets shows enhanced ice-phase processes to be the primary driver of increased surface precipitation under the semi-polluted condition. Under the polluted condition, suppressed auto-conversion and the enhanced evaporation of rain cause surface precipitation to decrease. To investigate the role of environmental conditions on precipitation response under different aerosol number concentrations, a set of sensitivity experiments are conducted with a 5 % decrease in relative humidity at the initial time, relative to the base simulations. Results show ice-phase processes having small sensitivity to CCN number concentration, compared with the base simulations. Surface precipitation responds differently to CCN number concentration under the lower humidity initial condition, being greatest under the clean condition, followed by the semi-polluted and polluted conditions.