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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 20 Mar 2018

Development and technical paper | 20 Mar 2018

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

Implementation of a simple thermodynamic sea ice scheme, SICE version 1.0-38h1, within the ALADIN-HIRLAM numerical weather prediction system version 38h1

Yurii Batrak1, Ekaterina Kourzeneva2, and Mariken Homleid1 Yurii Batrak et al.
  • 1Development Centre for Weather Forecasting, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Sea ice is an important factor affecting weather regimes, especially in polar regions. A lack of its representation in numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems leads to large errors. For example, in the HARMONIE-AROME model configuration of the ALADIN-HIRLAM NWP system, the mean absolute error in 2 metre temperature reaches 1.5°C after 15 forecast hours for Svalbard. A possible reason for that is that the sea ice properties are not reproduced correctly (there is no prognostic sea ice temperature in the model). Here, we develop a new SImple sea iCE scheme (SICE) and implement it into the ALADIN-HIRLAM NWP system in order to improve the quality of its forecasts in areas influenced by sea ice. General evaluation of the new parameterization is performed within HARMONIE-AROME by experiments covering the Svalbard and Gulf of Bothnia areas for a selected period in March–April 2013. It is found that using the SICE scheme improves the forecast, decreasing the value of the 2 metre temperature mean absolute error on average by 0.5°C in areas that are influenced by sea ice. The new scheme is sensitive to the representation of the form drag: it may increase the 10 metre wind speed bias on average by 0.4ms−1 when the form drag is not taken into account. Also, the modelling results are compared with the sea ice surface temperature observations from MODIS. The warm bias (of approximately 5°C) of the new scheme is indicated for the areas of thick ice in the Arctic. Impacts of the SICE scheme on the modelling results and possibilities for future improvement of sea ice representation in the ALADIN-HIRLAM NWP system are discussed.

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Yurii Batrak et al.
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