The current research work focuses on spray characterization in a model Lean Premixed and Pre-vaporized (LPP) atomizer that aims to minimize NOx emission in gas turbine combustors. The injector allows cross-stream atomization of two radially injected liquid jets from a central hub due to the crossflowing air within a surrounding annular region. Both non-swirling and swirling air flows were considered. Optical measurement of spray characteristics is reported for a range of aerodynamic Weber number, (Weg ≈ 40–140) and momentum flux ratio, (MFR ≈ 3–7) that ensured that the jet–wall interactions leading to liquid films were avoided prior to completion of the jet breakup. Planar laser sheet imaging of the spray illustrated significantly wider dispersion of the spray droplets and modification in the overall spray structure due to introduction of air swirl upstream of the liquid jets within the atomizer. The droplet size and all three velocity components were measured using a Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA) technique. The SMD was found to significantly reduce with increase in Weg for swirling as well as non-swirling crossflows. The tangential and radial velocity of droplets increased under the presence of swirling air as compared to non-swirling crossflow. The proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) analysis of the spray images was done which revealed the dominant structures in spray. The second and third POD modes were found to depict the alternate feature of region with concentrated droplet number density. Spray fluctuations due to unsteady jet breakup become dominant feature over flapping of spray structure for higher Weg. © 2021, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.