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Title: Evaluation of Cloud-resolving and Limited Area Model Intercomparison Simulations using TWP-ICE Observations. Part 1: Deep Convective Updraft Properties

Ten 3D cloud-resolving model (CRM) simulations and four 3D limited area model (LAM) simulations of an intense mesoscale convective system observed on January 23-24, 2006 during the Tropical Warm Pool – International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE) are compared with each other and with observed radar reflectivity fields and dual-Doppler retrievals of vertical wind speeds in an attempt to explain published results showing a high bias in simulated convective radar reflectivity aloft. This high bias results from ice water content being large, which is a product of large, strong convective updrafts, although hydrometeor size distribution assumptions modulate the size of this bias. Snow reflectivity can exceed 40 dBZ in a two-moment scheme when a constant bulk density of 100 kg m-3 is used. Making snow mass more realistically proportional to area rather than volume should somewhat alleviate this problem. Graupel, unlike snow, produces high biased reflectivity in all simulations. This is associated with large amounts of liquid water above the freezing level in updraft cores. Peak vertical velocities in deep convective updrafts are greater than dual-Doppler retrieved values, especially in the upper troposphere. Freezing of large rainwater contents lofted above the freezing level in simulated updraft cores greatly contributes to these excessivemore » upper tropospheric vertical velocities. Strong simulated updraft cores are nearly undiluted, with some showing supercell characteristics. Decreasing horizontal grid spacing from 900 meters to 100 meters weakens strong updrafts, but not enough to match observational retrievals. Therefore, overly intense simulated updrafts may partly be a product of interactions between convective dynamics, parameterized microphysics, and large-scale environmental biases that promote different convective modes and strengths than observed.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 119(24):13,891–13,918
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
clould-resolving; model intercomparison simulations; TWP-ICE; deep convective; updraft