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

Model description paper 04 Oct 2018

Model description paper | 04 Oct 2018

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

The UKC3 regional coupled environmental prediction system

Huw W. Lewis1, Juan Manuel Castillo Sanchez1, Alex Arnold1, Joachim Fallmann1,a, Andrew Saulter1, Jennifer Graham1,b, Mike Bush1, John Siddorn1, Tamzin Palmer1, Adrian Lock1, John Edwards1, Lucy Bricheno2, Alberto Martínez de la Torre3, and James Clark4 Huw W. Lewis et al.
  • 1Met Office, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK
  • 2National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, L3 5DA, UK
  • 3Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, OX10 8BB, UK
  • 4Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, PL1 2LP, UK
  • anow at: Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany
  • bnow at: Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Pakefield Rd, Lowestoft NR33 0HT, UK

Abstract. This paper describes an updated configuration of the regional coupled research system, termed UKC3, developed and evaluated under the UK Environmental Prediction collaboration. This represents a further step towards a vision of simulating the numerous interactions and feedbacks between different physical and biogeochemical components of the environment across sky, sea and land using more integrated regional coupled prediction systems at km-scale resolution. The UKC3 coupled system incorporates models of the atmosphere (Met Office Unified Model), land surface with river routing (JULES), shelf-sea ocean (NEMO) and ocean surface waves (WAVEWATCH III), coupled together using OASIS3-MCT libraries. The major update introduced since the UKC2 configuration is an explicit representation of wave processes in the ocean and their feedbacks through wave-to-ocean coupling. Ocean model results demonstrate that wave coupling, in particular representing the wave modified surface drag, has a small but positive improvement on the agreement between simulated sea surface temperatures and in situ observations, relative to simulations without wave feedbacks. Other incremental developments to the coupled modelling capability introduced since the UKC2 configuration are also detailed.

Coupled regional prediction systems are of interest for applications across a range of timescales, from hours to decades ahead. The first results of simulations run over extended periods, covering four experiments each of order one month in duration are therefore analysed and discussed in the context of further characterising the potential benefits of coupled prediction on forecast skill, and on the stability of such systems over longer time periods. Results across atmosphere, ocean and wave components are shown to be of at least comparable skill to the equivalent uncoupled control simulations, with notable improvements demonstrated in surface temperature and wave state predictions in some near-coastal regions, and in wind speeds over the sea.

Huw W. Lewis et al.
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Huw W. Lewis et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In the real world the atmosphere, oceans and land surface are closely interconnected, and yet the prediction systems used for weather and ocean forecasting tend to treat them in isolation. This paper describes the third version of a regional modelling system which aims to represent the feedback processes between sky, sea and land. The main innovation introduced in this version enables waves to affect the underlying ocean. Coupled results from four different month-long simulations are analysed.
In the real world the atmosphere, oceans and land surface are closely interconnected, and yet...