In mountainous regions, the nonlinear thermodynamics of orographic land-atmosphere interactions (LATMI) in organizing and maintaining moisture convergence patterns on the one hand, and aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions (ACPI) in modulating the vertical structure of precipitation and space-time variability of surface precipitation on the other, are difficult to separate unambiguously because the physiochemical characteristics of aerosols themselves exhibit large sub-regional scale variability. In this chapter, ACPI in the Central Himalayas are examined in detail using aerosol observations during JAMEX09 (Joint Aerosol Monsoon Campaign 2009) to specify CCN activation properties for simulations of a premonsoon convective storm using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) version 3.8.1. The focus is on contrasting AIE during episodes of remote pollution run-up from the Indo-Gangetic Plains and when only local aerosols are present in Central Nepal. This study suggests strong coupling between the vertical structure of convection in complex terrain that governs the time-scales and spatial organization of cloud development, CCN activation rates, and cold microphysics (e.g. graupel production is favored by slower activation spectra) that result in large shifts in the spatial distribution of precipitation, precipitation intensity and storm arrival time.
Part of the book: Rainfall