Choudhury, G; Tyagi, B; Vissa, NK; Singh, J; Sarangi, C; Tripathi, SN; Tesche, M (2020). Aerosol-enhanced high precipitation events near the Himalayan foothills. ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS, 20(23), 15389-15399.

Particulate emissions can alter the physical and dynamical properties of cloud systems and, in turn, amplify rainfall events over orographic regions downwind of highly polluted urban areas. The Indo-Gangetic Plain, one of the most polluted regions of the world, is located upwind of the Himalayan foothills. The region, therefore, provides an opportunity for studying how aerosol effects, in connection with orographic forcing, affect extreme rainfall events. This study uses 17 years (2001-2017) of observed rain rate, aerosol optical depth (AOD), meteorological reanalysis fields and outgoing long-wave radiation to investigate high precipitation events on the foothills of the Himalayas. Composite analysis of all these co-located data sets for high precipitation events (daily rainfall > 95th percentile) is done to understand the inherent dynamics and linkages between the AOD and extreme events. Clear and robust associations are found between high precipitation events, high aerosol loading and high moist static energy values. Results show an average increase in AOD by 36 %, along with an average increase in low-level moist static energy (1000-850 hPa) by approximate to 1500 J kg(-1) inside the selected domain for high precipitation events. The finding highlights the crucial role of the aerosol direct radiative effect on high precipitation events over the Himalayan region.