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Title: The Sensitivity of Numerical Simulations of Cloud‐Topped Boundary Layers to Cross‐Grid Flow

Abstract

In mesoscale and global atmospheric simulations with large horizontal domains, strong horizontal flow across the grid is often unavoidable, but its effects on cloud-topped boundary layers have received comparatively little study. Here the effects of cross-grid flow on large-eddy simulations of stratocumulus and trade-cumulus marine boundary layers are studied across a range of grid resolutions (horizontal 3 vertical) between 500 m 3 20 m and 35 m 3 5 m. Three cases are simulated: DYCOMS nocturnal strato-cumulus, BOMEX trade cumulus, and a GCSS stratocumulus-to-trade cumulus case. Simulations are per-formed with a stationary grid (with 4–8 m s–1 horizontal winds blowing through the cyclic domain) and a moving grid (equivalent to subtracting off a fixed vertically uniform horizontal wind) approximately matching the mean boundary-layer wind speed. For stratocumulus clouds, cross-grid flow produces two primary effects on stratocumulus clouds: a filtering of fine-scale resolved turbulent eddies, which reduces stratocu-mulus cloud-top entrainment, and a vertical broadening of the stratocumulus-top inversion which enhances cloud-top entrainment. With a coarse (20 m) vertical grid, the former effect dominates and leads to strong increases in cloud cover and LWP, especially as horizontal resolution is coarsened. With a finer (5 m) vertical grid, the latter effect is strongermore » and leads to small reductions in cloud cover and LWP. For the BOMEX trade cumulus case, cross-grid flow tends to produce fewer and larger clouds with higher LWP, especially for coarser vertical grid spacing. The results presented are robust to choice of scalar advection scheme and Courant number.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Department of Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattle WA USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1422429
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1422430; OSTI ID: 1511472
Grant/Contract Number:  
DE‐SC0012451; SC0012451
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems Journal Volume: 10 Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; numerical methods; boundary layer; trade‐cumulus; stratocumulus

Citation Formats

Wyant, Matthew C., Bretherton, Christopher S., and Blossey, Peter N. The Sensitivity of Numerical Simulations of Cloud‐Topped Boundary Layers to Cross‐Grid Flow. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/2017MS001241.
Wyant, Matthew C., Bretherton, Christopher S., & Blossey, Peter N. The Sensitivity of Numerical Simulations of Cloud‐Topped Boundary Layers to Cross‐Grid Flow. United States. doi:10.1002/2017MS001241.
Wyant, Matthew C., Bretherton, Christopher S., and Blossey, Peter N. Fri . "The Sensitivity of Numerical Simulations of Cloud‐Topped Boundary Layers to Cross‐Grid Flow". United States. doi:10.1002/2017MS001241.
@article{osti_1422429,
title = {The Sensitivity of Numerical Simulations of Cloud‐Topped Boundary Layers to Cross‐Grid Flow},
author = {Wyant, Matthew C. and Bretherton, Christopher S. and Blossey, Peter N.},
abstractNote = {In mesoscale and global atmospheric simulations with large horizontal domains, strong horizontal flow across the grid is often unavoidable, but its effects on cloud-topped boundary layers have received comparatively little study. Here the effects of cross-grid flow on large-eddy simulations of stratocumulus and trade-cumulus marine boundary layers are studied across a range of grid resolutions (horizontal 3 vertical) between 500 m 3 20 m and 35 m 3 5 m. Three cases are simulated: DYCOMS nocturnal strato-cumulus, BOMEX trade cumulus, and a GCSS stratocumulus-to-trade cumulus case. Simulations are per-formed with a stationary grid (with 4–8 m s–1 horizontal winds blowing through the cyclic domain) and a moving grid (equivalent to subtracting off a fixed vertically uniform horizontal wind) approximately matching the mean boundary-layer wind speed. For stratocumulus clouds, cross-grid flow produces two primary effects on stratocumulus clouds: a filtering of fine-scale resolved turbulent eddies, which reduces stratocu-mulus cloud-top entrainment, and a vertical broadening of the stratocumulus-top inversion which enhances cloud-top entrainment. With a coarse (20 m) vertical grid, the former effect dominates and leads to strong increases in cloud cover and LWP, especially as horizontal resolution is coarsened. With a finer (5 m) vertical grid, the latter effect is stronger and leads to small reductions in cloud cover and LWP. For the BOMEX trade cumulus case, cross-grid flow tends to produce fewer and larger clouds with higher LWP, especially for coarser vertical grid spacing. The results presented are robust to choice of scalar advection scheme and Courant number.},
doi = {10.1002/2017MS001241},
journal = {Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems},
number = 2,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: 10.1002/2017MS001241

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