Aerosol properties and their impacts on surface CCN at the ARM Southern Great Plains site during the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018, Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Aerosol particles are of particular importance because of their impacts on cloud development and precipitation processes over land and ocean. Aerosol properties as well as meteorological observations from the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) platform situated in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) are utilized in this study to illustrate the dependence of continental cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) number concentration (NCCN) on aerosol type and transport pathways. ARM-SGP observations from the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment field campaign are presented in this study and compared with our previous work during the 2009–10 Clouds, Aerosol, and Precipitation in the Marine Boundary Layer field campaign over the current ARM Eastern North Atlantic site. Northerly winds over the SGP reflect clean, continental conditions with aerosol scattering coefficient (σsp) values less than 20 Mm−1 and NCCN values less than 100 cm−3. However, southerly winds over the SGP are responsible for the observed moderate to high correlation (R) among aerosol loading (σsp < 60 Mm−1) and NCCN, carbonaceous chemical species (biomass burning smoke), and precipitable water vapor. This suggests a common transport mechanism for smoke aerosols and moisture via the Gulf of Mexico, indicating a strong dependence on air mass type. NASA MERRA-2 reanalysis aerosol and chemical data are moderately to highly correlated with surface ARM-SGP data, suggesting that this facility can represent surface aerosol conditions in the SGP, especially during strong aerosol loading events that transport via the Gulf of Mexico. Future long-term investigations will help to understand the seasonal influences of air masses on aerosol, CCN, and cloud properties over land in comparison to over ocean.

altmetric score

  • 47.55

author list (cited authors)

  • Logan, T., Dong, X., & Xi, B.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • February 2018