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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-340
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-340
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model evaluation paper 12 Feb 2019

Model evaluation paper | 12 Feb 2019

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

Modeling extreme precipitation over East China with a global variable-resolution modeling framework (MPASv5.2): Impacts of resolution and physics

Chun Zhao1, Mingyue Xu1, Yu Wang1, Meixin Zhang1, Jianping Guo2, Zhiyuan Hu3, Lai-Yung Leung4, William Skamarock5, and Michael Duda5 Chun Zhao et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Gansu, China
  • 4Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 5National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. The non-hydrostatic atmospheric Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS-A), a global variable-resolution modeling framework, is applied at a range of resolutions from hydrostatic (60 km, 30 km, 16 km) to non-hydrostatic (4 km) scales using regional refinement over East Asia to simulate an extreme precipitation event during 25–27 June 2012 over East China. The simulations are evaluated using ground observations and reanalysis data. The simulated distribution and intensity of precipitation are analyzed to investigate the sensitivity to model configuration, resolution, and physics parameterizations. In general, simulations using global uniform-resolution and variable-resolution meshes share similar characteristics of precipitation and wind in the refined region with comparable horizontal resolution. Further experiments at multiple resolutions reveal the significant impacts of horizontal resolution on simulating the distribution and intensity of precipitation and updrafts. More specifically, simulations at coarser resolutions shift the zonal distribution of the rainbelt and produce weaker heavy-precipitation centers that are misplaced relative to the observed locations. In comparison, simulations employing 4 km cell spacing produce more realistic features of precipitation and wind. Sensitivity experiments show that cloud microphysics have significant effects on modeling precipitation at non-hydrostatic scales, but their impacts are negligible compared to that of convective parameterizations for simulations at hydrostatic scales. This study provides the first evidence supporting the use of convection-permitting global variable-resolution simulations for studying and improving forecasting of extreme precipitation over East China, and motivates the need for a more systematic study of heavy precipitation events and impacts of physics parameterizations and topography in the future.

Chun Zhao et al.
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Short summary
The global variable-resolution simulations at global uniform and variable resolutions share similar characteristics of precipitation and wind in the refined region. The experiments reveal the significant impacts of resolution on simulating the distribution and intensity of precipitation and updrafts. This study provides the evidence supporting using convection-permitting global variable-resolution simulation for studying extreme precipitation.
The global variable-resolution simulations at global uniform and variable resolutions share...
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