23 Jan 2023
23 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

The variation of particle number size distribution during the rainfall: wet scavenging and air masses changing

Guangdong Niu1, Ximeng Qi1,2, Liangduo Chen1, Lian Xue1,2, Shiyi Lai1, Xin Huang1,2, Jiaping Wang1,2, Xuguang Chi1,2, Wei Nie1,2, Veli-Matti Kerminen3, Tuukka Petäjä3, Markku Kulmala3, and Aijun Ding1,2 Guangdong Niu et al.
  • 1Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 2Jiangsu Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric and Earth Systems Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Below-cloud wet scavenging is an important pathway to remove atmospheric aerosols. The below-cloud wet scavenging coefficient (BWSC) is the value to describe the ability of rainfall to remove aerosols. The reported BWSCs obtained from the field measurements are much higher than the theory, but the reason for this remains unclear. In this study, based on the long-term field measurements in the Yangtze River Delta of eastern China, we find 28 % of the rainfall events are high BWSC events. The high BWSC events show the sudden decrease of particle number concentration in all size bins near the end of rainfall. By investigating the circulation patterns, backward trajectories and the variations of simultaneously observed atmospheric components, we find the cause of the high BWSC events is the air masses changing but not the wet scavenging. The change of air masses is always followed by the rainfall processes and cannot be screened out by the traditional meteorological criteria, which would cause the overestimation of BWSC. After excluding the high BWSC events, the observed BWSC is close to the theory and is correlated with the rainfall intensity and particle number concentrations prior to rainfall. This study highlights the discrepancy between the observed BWSC and the theoretical value may not be as large as it is currently believed. To obtain reasonable BWSCs and parameterization from field measurements, the effect of air masses changing during rainfall needs to be carefully considered.

Guangdong Niu et al.

Status: open (until 06 Mar 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Guangdong Niu et al.


Total article views: 150 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
109 37 4 150 17 2 2
  • HTML: 109
  • PDF: 37
  • XML: 4
  • Total: 150
  • Supplement: 17
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 23 Jan 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 23 Jan 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 150 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 150 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 26 Jan 2023
Short summary
The reported below-cloud wet scavenging coefficients (BWSCs) are much higher than the theory, but the reason of it remains unclear. Based on the long-term observation, we find the air masses changing during the rainfall events causes the overestimation of BWSCs. Thus, the discrepancy in BWSCs between observation and theory is not as large as currently believed. To obtain reasonable BWSCs and parameterizations from field observations, the effect of air masses changing needs to be considered.