Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 115–125 | Cite as

Sea-Salt Aerosol Effects on the Simulated Microphysics and Precipitation in a Tropical Cyclone

  • Baolin Jiang
  • Wenshi LinEmail author
  • Fangzhou Li
  • Junwen Chen
Regular Articles


We investigate the effects of sea-salt aerosol (SSA) activated as cloud condensation nuclei on the microphysical processes, precipitation, and thermodynamics of a tropical cyclone (TC). The Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) was used together with a parameterization of SSA production. Three simulations, with different levels of SSA emission (CTL, LOW, HIGH), were conducted. The simulation results show that SSA contributes to the processes of autoconversion of cloud water and accretion of cloud water by rain, thereby promoting rain formation. The latent heat release increases with SSA emission, slightly increasing horizontal wind speeds of the TC. The presence of SSA also regulates the thermodynamic structure and precipitation of the TC. In the HIGH simulation, higher latent heat release gives rise to stronger updrafts in the TC eyewall area, leading to enhanced precipitation. In the LOW simulation, due to decreased latent heat release, the temperature in the TC eye is lower, enhancing the downdrafts in the region; and because of conservation of mass, updrafts in the eyewall also strengthen slightly; as a result, precipitation in the LOW experiment is a little higher than that in the CTL experiment. Overall, the relationship between the precipitation rate and SSA emission is nonlinear.

Key words

sea-salt aerosol microphysics tropical cyclone WRF-Chem cloud condensation nuclei 


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We are grateful to the NCAR Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division for making the WRF-Chem model available at We thank NCAR’s Research Data Archive for making the NCEP Final Operational Model Global Tropospheric Analysis (NCEP-FNL; dataset available.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baolin Jiang
    • 1
  • Wenshi Lin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fangzhou Li
    • 1
  • Junwen Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Atmospheric Sciences, and Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster StudiesSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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