Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Impact of aerosols on tropical cyclones: An investigation using convection-permitting model simulation

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Abstract

[1] The role of aerosols' effect on two tropical cyclones over the Bay of Bengal is investigated using a convection-permitting model with a two-moment mixed-phase bulk cloud microphysics scheme. The simulation results show the role of aerosol on the microphysical and dynamical properties of the cloud and bring out the change in efficiency of the clouds in producing precipitation. The tracks of the tropical cyclones (TCs) are hardly affected by the changing aerosol concentrations, but the intensity exhibits significant sensitivity due to the change in aerosol concentration. It is also clearly seen from the analyses that higher heating in the middle troposphere within the cyclone center is in response to latent heat release as a consequence of greater graupel formation. Greater heating in the middle level is particularly noticeable for the clean aerosol regime which causes enhanced divergence in the upper level, which, in turn, forces lower level convergence. As a result, the cleaner aerosol perturbation is more unstable within the cyclone core and produces a more intense cyclone as compared to the other two aerosol perturbations. This study, along with previous simulations, shows the robustness of the concept of TC weakening by storm ingestion of high concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). The consistency of these model results gives us confidence in stating that there is a high probability that ingestion of high CCN concentrations in a TC will lead to weakening of the storm but has little impact on storm direction. Moreover, as pollution is increasing over the Indian subcontinent, this study suggests that pollution may be weakening TCs over the Bay of Bengal.

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