Impact of Giant Sea Salt Aerosol Particles on Precipitation in Marine Cumuli and Stratocumuli: Lagrangian Cloud Model Simulations

Dziekan P., Jensen J.B., Grabowski W.W., Pawlowska H.

Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

78 (12), 2021, 4127-4142, 10.1175/JAS-D-21-0041.1

The impact of giant sea salt aerosols released from breaking waves on rain formation in marine boundary layer clouds is studied using large-eddy simulations (LES). We perform simulations of marine cumuli and stratocumuli for various concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and giant CCN (GCCN). Cloud microphysics are modeled with a Lagrangian method that provides key improvements in comparison to previous LES of GCCN that used Eulerian bin microphysics. We find that GCCN significantly increase precipitation in stratocumuli. This effect is strongest for low and moderate CCN concentrations. GCCN are found to have a smaller impact on precipitation formation in cumuli. These conclusions are in agreement with field measurements. We develop a simple parameterization of the effect of GCCN on precipitation, accretion, and autoconversion rates in marine stratocumuli.