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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Methods for assessment of models 03 Aug 2018

Methods for assessment of models | 03 Aug 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

DCMIP2016: The Splitting Supercell Test Case

Colin M. Zarzycki1, Christiane Jablonowski2, James Kent3, Peter H. Lauritzen1, Ramachandran Nair1, Kevin A. Reed4, Paul A. Ullrich5, David M. Hall6, Don Dazlich7, Ross Heikes7, Celal Konor7, David Randall7, Xi Chen8, Lucas Harris8, Marco Giorgetta9, Daniel Reinert10, Christian Kühnlein11, Robert Walko12, Vivian Lee13, Abdessamad Qaddouri13, Monique Tanguay13, Hiroaki Miura14, Tomoki Ohno15, Ryuji Yoshida16, Sang-Hun Park17, Joseph Klemp1, and William Skamarock1 Colin M. Zarzycki et al.
  • 1National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • 2University of Michigan
  • 3University of South Wales
  • 4Stony Brook University
  • 5University of California, Davis
  • 6University of Colorado, Boulder
  • 7Colorado State University
  • 8Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL)
  • 9Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
  • 10Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
  • 11European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
  • 12University of Miami
  • 13Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • 14University of Tokyo
  • 15Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
  • 16RIKEN
  • 17Yonsei University

Abstract. This paper describes the splitting supercell idealized test case used in the 2016 Dynamical Core Model Intercomparison Project (DCMIP2016). These storms are useful testbeds for global atmospheric models because the horizontal scale of convective plumes is O(1km), emphasizing non-hydrostatic dynamics. The test case simulates a supercell on a reduced radius sphere with nominal resolutions ranging from 4km to 0.5km and is based on the work of Klemp et al. (2015). Models are initialized with an atmospheric environment conducive to supercell formation and forced with a small thermal perturbation. A simplified Kessler microphysics scheme is coupled to the dynamical core to represent moist processes. Reference solutions for DCMIP2016 models are presented. Storm evolution is broadly similar between models, although differences in final solution exist. These differences are hypothesized to result from different numerical discretizations, physics-dynamics coupling, and numerical diffusion. Intramodel solutions generally converge as models approach 0.5km resolution. These results can be used as a reference for future dynamical core evaluation, particularly with the development of non-hydrostatic global models intended to be used in convective-permitting and convective-allowing regimes.

Colin M. Zarzycki et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Colin M. Zarzycki et al.
Colin M. Zarzycki et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We summarize the results of the Dynamical Core Model Intercomparison Project's idealized supercell test case. Supercells are storm-scale weather phenomena that are a key target for next-generation, non-hydrostatic weather prediction models. We show that the dynamical cores of most global numerical models converge between approximately 1 and 0.5 km grid spacing for this test, although differences in final solution exist, particularly due to differing grid discretizations and numerical diffusion.
We summarize the results of the Dynamical Core Model Intercomparison Project's idealized...