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Title: The role of precipitation size distributions in km-scale NWP simulations of intense precipitation: Evaluation of cloud properties and surface precipitation

Abstract

We investigate the sensitivity of simulated cloud properties and surface precipitation to assumptions regarding the size distributions of the precipitating hydrometeors in a one-moment bulk microphysics scheme. Three sensitivity experiments were applied to two composites of 15 convective and 15 frontal stratiform intense precipitation events observed in a coastal midlatitude region (Belgium), which were evaluated against satellite-retrieved cloud properties and radar-rain-gauge derived surface precipitation. It is found that the cloud optical thickness distribution was well captured by all experiments, although a significant underestimation of cloudiness occurred in the convective composite. The cloud-top-pressure distribution was improved most by more realistic snow size distributions (including a temperature-dependent intercept parameter and non-spherical snow for the calculation of the slope parameter), due to increased snow depositional growth at high altitudes. Surface precipitation was far less sensitive to whether graupel or hail was chosen as the rimed ice species, as compared to previous idealized experiments. This smaller difference in sensitivity could be explained by the stronger updraught velocities and higher freezing levels in the idealized experiments compared to typical coastal midlatitude environmental conditions.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE SC OFFICE OF SCIENCE (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1044748
Report Number(s):
BNL-97296-2012-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0035-9009; QJRMAM; R&D Project: 2014-BNL-EE630EECA-Bidg; KP1701000; TRN: US201214%%797
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-98CH10886
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: online; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-9009
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CLOUDS; DISTRIBUTION; EVALUATION; FREEZING; PRECIPITATION; SENSITIVITY; SNOW; THICKNESS

Citation Formats

Van Weverberg, K, Vogelmann, A, van Lipzig, N P. M., and Delobbec, L. The role of precipitation size distributions in km-scale NWP simulations of intense precipitation: Evaluation of cloud properties and surface precipitation. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1002/qj.1933.
Van Weverberg, K, Vogelmann, A, van Lipzig, N P. M., & Delobbec, L. The role of precipitation size distributions in km-scale NWP simulations of intense precipitation: Evaluation of cloud properties and surface precipitation. United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.1933
Van Weverberg, K, Vogelmann, A, van Lipzig, N P. M., and Delobbec, L. 2012. "The role of precipitation size distributions in km-scale NWP simulations of intense precipitation: Evaluation of cloud properties and surface precipitation". United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.1933.
@article{osti_1044748,
title = {The role of precipitation size distributions in km-scale NWP simulations of intense precipitation: Evaluation of cloud properties and surface precipitation},
author = {Van Weverberg, K and Vogelmann, A and van Lipzig, N P. M. and Delobbec, L},
abstractNote = {We investigate the sensitivity of simulated cloud properties and surface precipitation to assumptions regarding the size distributions of the precipitating hydrometeors in a one-moment bulk microphysics scheme. Three sensitivity experiments were applied to two composites of 15 convective and 15 frontal stratiform intense precipitation events observed in a coastal midlatitude region (Belgium), which were evaluated against satellite-retrieved cloud properties and radar-rain-gauge derived surface precipitation. It is found that the cloud optical thickness distribution was well captured by all experiments, although a significant underestimation of cloudiness occurred in the convective composite. The cloud-top-pressure distribution was improved most by more realistic snow size distributions (including a temperature-dependent intercept parameter and non-spherical snow for the calculation of the slope parameter), due to increased snow depositional growth at high altitudes. Surface precipitation was far less sensitive to whether graupel or hail was chosen as the rimed ice species, as compared to previous idealized experiments. This smaller difference in sensitivity could be explained by the stronger updraught velocities and higher freezing levels in the idealized experiments compared to typical coastal midlatitude environmental conditions.},
doi = {10.1002/qj.1933},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1044748}, journal = {Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society},
issn = {0035-9009},
number = ,
volume = online,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {4}
}