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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-2019-255
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-255
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 27 Nov 2019

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 27 Nov 2019

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

Impact of scale-aware deep convection on the cloud liquid and ice water paths and precipitation using the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS-v5.2)

Laura D. Fowler1, Mary C. Barth1, and Kiran Alapaty2 Laura D. Fowler et al.
  • 1National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 2Center for Environmental Measurements and Modeling, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

Abstract. The cloud Liquid Water Path (LWP), Ice Water Path (IWP), and precipitation simulated with uniform- and variable-resolution numerical experiments using the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) are compared against Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission data. Our comparison between monthly mean model diagnostics and satellite data focuses on the convective activity regions of the Tropical Pacific Ocean, extending from the Eastern Tropical Pacific Basin where trade wind boundary layer clouds develop to the Western Pacific warm pool defined by deep convective updrafts capped with extended upper-tropospheric ice clouds. Using the scale-aware Grell-Freitas (GF) and Multi-Scale Kain-Fritsch (MSKF) convection schemes with the Thompson cloud microphysics scheme, uniform-resolution experiments produce large biases between simulated and satellite-retrieved LWP, IWP, and precipitation. Differences in the treatment of shallow convection lead the LWP to be strongly overestimated when using GF while being in relatively good agreement when using MSKF compared to CERES data. Over areas of deep convection, numerical experiments using MSKF lead to increased IWP than those using GF, in conjunction with increased convective detrainment of cloud ice and ice nucleation. Mesh refinement over the Western Pacific warm pool yields increased grid-scale condensation, LWP, IWP, and cloudiness over the refined area of the mesh associated with increased grid-scale upward vertical motions. Results underscore the importance of evaluating clouds, their optical properties, and the top-of-the-atmosphere radiation budget in addition to precipitation when performing mesh refinement global simulations.

Laura D. Fowler et al.
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Status: open (until 22 Jan 2020)
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Laura D. Fowler et al.
Data sets

experimentsMPAS-v5.2 Laura D. Fowler https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3515440

Model code and software

experimentsMPAS-v5.2 Laura D. Fowler https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3515440

Laura D. Fowler et al.
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Short summary
The cloud Liquid and Ice Water Path, and precipitation simulated with the Model for Prediction Across Scales are compared against satellite data over the Tropical Pacific Ocean. Uniform and variable resolution experiments using scale-aware convection schemes produce strong biases between simulated and observed diagnostics. Results underscore the importance of evaluating clouds, their optical properties, and radiation budget in addition to precipitation in mesh refinement global simulations.
The cloud Liquid and Ice Water Path, and precipitation simulated with the Model for Prediction...
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