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Title: Simulating Real Atmospheric Boundary Layers at Gray-Zone Resolutions: How Do Currently Available Turbulence Parameterizations Perform?

Abstract

Recent computational and modeling advances have led a diverse modeling community to experiment with atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) simulations at subkilometer horizontal scales. Accurately parameterizing turbulence at these scales is a complex problem. The modeling solutions proposed to date are still in the development phase and remain largely unvalidated. This work assesses the performance of methods currently available in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to represent ABL turbulence at a gray-zone grid spacing of 333 m. We consider three one-dimensional boundary layer parameterizations (MYNN, YSU and Shin-Hong) and coarse large-eddy simulations (LES). The reference dataset consists of five real-case simulations performed with WRF-LES nested down to 25 m. Results reveal that users should refrain from coarse LES and favor the scale-aware, Shin-Hong parameterization over traditional one-dimensional schemes. Overall, the spread in model performance is large for the cellular convection regime corresponding to the majority of our cases, with coarse LES overestimating turbulent energy across scales and YSU underestimating it and failing to reproduce its horizontal structure. Despite yielding the best results, the Shin-Hong scheme overestimates the effect of grid dependence on turbulent transport, highlighting the outstanding need for improved solutions to seamlessly parameterize turbulence across scales.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Wind Energy Technologies Office; National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1659807
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5000-76344
Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4433; MainId:6021;UUID:1d9e79e7-ac63-ea11-9c31-ac162d87dfe5;MainAdminID:13398
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; NRAL0016
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Atmosphere (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmosphere (Basel); Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4433
Publisher:
MDPI
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; atmospheric boundary layers; gray zone; terra incognita; turbulence; WRF-LES

Citation Formats

Doubrawa Moreira, Paula, and Muñoz-Esparza, Domingo. Simulating Real Atmospheric Boundary Layers at Gray-Zone Resolutions: How Do Currently Available Turbulence Parameterizations Perform?. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11040345.
Doubrawa Moreira, Paula, & Muñoz-Esparza, Domingo. Simulating Real Atmospheric Boundary Layers at Gray-Zone Resolutions: How Do Currently Available Turbulence Parameterizations Perform?. United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11040345
Doubrawa Moreira, Paula, and Muñoz-Esparza, Domingo. Tue . "Simulating Real Atmospheric Boundary Layers at Gray-Zone Resolutions: How Do Currently Available Turbulence Parameterizations Perform?". United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11040345. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1659807.
@article{osti_1659807,
title = {Simulating Real Atmospheric Boundary Layers at Gray-Zone Resolutions: How Do Currently Available Turbulence Parameterizations Perform?},
author = {Doubrawa Moreira, Paula and Muñoz-Esparza, Domingo},
abstractNote = {Recent computational and modeling advances have led a diverse modeling community to experiment with atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) simulations at subkilometer horizontal scales. Accurately parameterizing turbulence at these scales is a complex problem. The modeling solutions proposed to date are still in the development phase and remain largely unvalidated. This work assesses the performance of methods currently available in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to represent ABL turbulence at a gray-zone grid spacing of 333 m. We consider three one-dimensional boundary layer parameterizations (MYNN, YSU and Shin-Hong) and coarse large-eddy simulations (LES). The reference dataset consists of five real-case simulations performed with WRF-LES nested down to 25 m. Results reveal that users should refrain from coarse LES and favor the scale-aware, Shin-Hong parameterization over traditional one-dimensional schemes. Overall, the spread in model performance is large for the cellular convection regime corresponding to the majority of our cases, with coarse LES overestimating turbulent energy across scales and YSU underestimating it and failing to reproduce its horizontal structure. Despite yielding the best results, the Shin-Hong scheme overestimates the effect of grid dependence on turbulent transport, highlighting the outstanding need for improved solutions to seamlessly parameterize turbulence across scales.},
doi = {10.3390/atmos11040345},
journal = {Atmosphere (Basel)},
number = 4,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

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