Aerosol optical depth distribution in extratropical cyclones over the Northern...

Naud, C. M., D. Posselt, and S. van den Heever (2016), Aerosol optical depth distribution in extratropical cyclones over the Northern Hemisphere oceans, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 10,504-10,511, doi:10.1002/2016GL070953.

Using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and an extratropical cyclone database, the climatological distribution of aerosol optical depth (AOD) in extratropical cyclones is explored based solely on observations. Cyclone-centered composites of aerosol optical depth are constructed for the Northern Hemisphere midlatitude ocean regions, and their seasonal variations are examined. These composites are found to be qualitatively stable when the impact of clouds and surface insolation or brightness is tested. The larger AODs occur in spring and summer and are preferentially found in the warm frontal and in the postcold frontal regions in all seasons. The fine mode aerosols dominate the cold sector AODs, but the coarse mode aerosols display large AODs in the warm sector. These differences between the aerosol modes are related to the varying source regions of the aerosols and could potentially have different impacts on cloud and precipitation within the cyclones.

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