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A strategy for representing the effects of convective momentum transport in multiscale models: Evaluation using a new superparameterized version of the Weather Research and Forecast model (SP-WRF)
  • Published Date:
    2015
  • Source:
    Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 7(2), 938-962.
Filetype[PDF-2.30 MB]


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  • Description:
    This paper describes a general method for the treatment of convective momentum transport (CMT) in large-scale dynamical solvers that use a cyclic, two-dimensional (2-D) cloud-resolving model (CRM) as a "superparameterization'' of convective-system-scale processes. The approach is similar in concept to traditional parameterizations of CMT, but with the distinction that both the scalar transport and diagnostic pressure gradient force are calculated using information provided by the 2-D CRM. No assumptions are therefore made concerning the role of convection-induced pressure gradient forces in producing up or down-gradient CMT. The proposed method is evaluated using a new superparameterized version of the Weather Research and Forecast model (SP-WRF) that is described herein for the first time. Results show that the net effect of the formulation is to modestly reduce the overall strength of the large-scale circulation, via "cumulus friction.'' This statement holds true for idealized simulations of two types of mesoscale convective systems, a squall line, and a tropical cyclone, in addition to real-world global simulations of seasonal (1 June to 31 August) climate. In the case of the latter, inclusion of the formulation is found to improve the depiction of key synoptic modes of tropical wave variability, in addition to some aspects of the simulated time-mean climate. The choice of CRM orientation is also found to importantly affect the simulated time-mean climate, apparently due to changes in the explicit representation of wide-spread shallow convective regions.

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