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Title: Impacts of Microphysical Scheme on Convective and Stratiform Characteristics in Two High Precipitation Squall Line Events

This study investigates the impact of snow, graupel, and hail processes on the simulated squall lines over the Southern Great Plains in the United States. Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to simulate two squall line events in May 2007, and the results are validated against radar and surface observations in Oklahoma. Several microphysics schemes are tested in this study, including WRF 5-Class Microphysics Scheme (WSM5), WRF 6-Class Microphysics Scheme (WSM6), Goddard Three Ice scheme (Goddard 3-ice) with graupel, Goddard Two Ice scheme (Goddard 2-ice), and Goddard 3-ice hail scheme. The simulated surface precipitation is sensitive to the microphysics scheme, and especially to whether graupel or hail category is included. All of the three ice (3-ice) schemes overestimated the total precipitation, within which WSM6 has the highest overestimation. Two ice (2-ice) schemes, missing a graupel/hail category, produced less total precipitation than 3-ice schemes. By applying a radar-based convective/stratiform partitioning algorithm, we find that by including the graupel/hail processes, there is an increase in areal coverage, precipitation intensity, updraft and downdraft intensity in convective region and a reduction of areal coverage and its precipitation intensity in stratiform region. For vertical structures, all the bulk schemes, especially 2-ice schemes, havemore » the highest reflectivity located at upper levels (~8 km), which is unrealistic compared to observations. In addition, this study shows the radar-based convective/stratiform partitioning algorithm can reasonably identify WRF simulated precipitation, wind and microphysics fields in both convective and stratiform regions.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 118(19):11,119–11,135
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
impacts; microphysical; scheme; convective; stratiform; characteristics; high; precipitation; squall; line