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Title: The interaction between boundary layer and convection schemes in a WRF simulation of post-cold-frontal clouds over the ARM East North Atlantic site

Abstract

The correct representation of low-level midlatitude clouds found in the wake of cold fronts strongly relies on the representation of planetary boundary layer (PBL) and convection processes, which are typically parameterized separately in numerical models. Using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), this study investigates how distinct pairs of PBL and convection parameterization schemes represent cloud fraction in the post-cold-frontal region. The simulations focus on the region of the DOE-ARM Eastern North Atlantic observation site in the Azores Islands in the wake of a cold front that passed on December 25, 2015. Different PBL and convection schemes are combined to create 12 distinct configurations. The main differences between the selected physical parameterizations are the strength of vertical mixing and the entrainment. The simulations produce a wide range of cloud fractions, where some configurations significantly underestimate while others clearly overestimate satellite and surface-based estimates of cloud fraction. A skill score is used to quantitatively assess the performance of each configuration with respect to ground-based radar data. The key processes that are found to significantly impact the cloud fraction distribution are the strength of the PBL decoupling, the vertical wind shear, entrainment and detrainment rates in shallow convection and the occurrencemore » of drizzle. This indicates that to successfully simulate post-cold-frontal clouds, modeled physics must balance strong internal vertical mixing and weak exchange with the free troposphere. For this case study, cloud fraction was more sensitive to the choice of convection scheme than PBL scheme.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. City Univ. of New York, New York, NY (United States); Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. City Univ. of New York, New York, NY (United States)
  3. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
  4. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1503224
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1508887; OSTI ID: 1594072
Report Number(s):
BNL-211454-2019-JAAM
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012704; SC0016344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 124; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; post cold front clouds; ARM‐ENA site; boundary layer; moist convection; interaction between parameterizations; 58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Lamraoui, Fayçal, Booth, James F., Naud, Catherine M., Jensen, Michael P., and Johnson, Karen L. The interaction between boundary layer and convection schemes in a WRF simulation of post-cold-frontal clouds over the ARM East North Atlantic site. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2018JD029370.
Lamraoui, Fayçal, Booth, James F., Naud, Catherine M., Jensen, Michael P., & Johnson, Karen L. The interaction between boundary layer and convection schemes in a WRF simulation of post-cold-frontal clouds over the ARM East North Atlantic site. United States. doi:10.1029/2018JD029370.
Lamraoui, Fayçal, Booth, James F., Naud, Catherine M., Jensen, Michael P., and Johnson, Karen L. Thu . "The interaction between boundary layer and convection schemes in a WRF simulation of post-cold-frontal clouds over the ARM East North Atlantic site". United States. doi:10.1029/2018JD029370. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1503224.
@article{osti_1503224,
title = {The interaction between boundary layer and convection schemes in a WRF simulation of post-cold-frontal clouds over the ARM East North Atlantic site},
author = {Lamraoui, Fayçal and Booth, James F. and Naud, Catherine M. and Jensen, Michael P. and Johnson, Karen L.},
abstractNote = {The correct representation of low-level midlatitude clouds found in the wake of cold fronts strongly relies on the representation of planetary boundary layer (PBL) and convection processes, which are typically parameterized separately in numerical models. Using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), this study investigates how distinct pairs of PBL and convection parameterization schemes represent cloud fraction in the post-cold-frontal region. The simulations focus on the region of the DOE-ARM Eastern North Atlantic observation site in the Azores Islands in the wake of a cold front that passed on December 25, 2015. Different PBL and convection schemes are combined to create 12 distinct configurations. The main differences between the selected physical parameterizations are the strength of vertical mixing and the entrainment. The simulations produce a wide range of cloud fractions, where some configurations significantly underestimate while others clearly overestimate satellite and surface-based estimates of cloud fraction. A skill score is used to quantitatively assess the performance of each configuration with respect to ground-based radar data. The key processes that are found to significantly impact the cloud fraction distribution are the strength of the PBL decoupling, the vertical wind shear, entrainment and detrainment rates in shallow convection and the occurrence of drizzle. This indicates that to successfully simulate post-cold-frontal clouds, modeled physics must balance strong internal vertical mixing and weak exchange with the free troposphere. For this case study, cloud fraction was more sensitive to the choice of convection scheme than PBL scheme.},
doi = {10.1029/2018JD029370},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 8,
volume = 124,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

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