Continuous high resolution mid-latitude belt simulations for July–August 2013 with WRF

Other literature type English OPEN
Schwitalla, Thomas ; Bauer, Hans-Stefan ; Wulfmeyer, Volker ; Warrach-Sagi, Kirsten (2016)

The impact of a convection permitting (CP) northern hemisphere latitude-belt simulation with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was investigated during the July and August 2013. For this application, the WRF model together with the NOAH land-surface model (LSM) was applied at two different horizontal resolutions, 0.03° (HIRES) and 0.12° (LOWRES). The set-up as a latitude-belt domain avoids disturbances that originate from the western and eastern boundaries and therefore allows to study the impact of model resolution and physical parameterizations on the results. Both simulations were forced by ECMWF operational analysis data at the northern and southern domain boundaries and the high-resolution Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) data at the sea surface. The simulations are compared to the operational ECMWF analysis for the representation of large scale features. To compare the simulated precipitation, the operational ECMWF forecast, the CPC MORPHing (CMORPH), and the ENSEMBLES gridded observation precipitation data set (E-OBS) were used.<br><br> Compared to the operational high-resolution ECMWF analysis, both simulations are able to capture the large scale circulation pattern though the strength of the Pacific high is considerably overestimated in the LOWRES simulation. Major differences between ECMWF and WRF occur during July 2013 when the lower resolution simulation shows a significant negative bias over the North Atlantic which is not observed in the CP simulation. The analysis indicates deficiencies in the applied combinations of cloud microphysics and convection parametrization on the coarser grid scale in subpolar regions. The overall representation of the 500&thinsp;hPa geopotential height surface is also improved by the CP simulation compared to the LOWRES simulation apart across Newfoundland where the geopotential height is higher than in the LOWRES simulation due to a northward shift of the location of the Atlantic high pressure system.<br><br> Both simulations show higher wind speeds in the boundary layer by about 1.5&thinsp;m&thinsp;s<sup>&minus;1</sup> compared to the the ECMWF analysis. Due to the higher surface evaporation, this results in a moist bias of 0.5&thinsp;g&thinsp;kg<sup>&minus;1</sup> at 925&thinsp;hPa in the planetary boundary layer compared to the ECMWF analysis. Major differences between ECMWF and WRF occur in the simulation of the 2-m temperatures over the Asian desert and steppe regions. They are significantly higher in WRF by about 5 K both during day- and night-time presumably as a result of different soil hydraulic parameters used in the NOAH land surface model for steppe regions.<br><br> The precipitation of the HIRES simulation shows a better spatial agreement with CMORPH especially over mountainous terrain. The overall bias reduces from 80&thinsp;mm at the coarser resolution to 50&thinsp;mm in the HIRES simulation and the root mean square error is reduced by about 35&thinsp;% when compared to the CMORPH precipitation analysis. The precipitation distribution agrees much better with the CMORPH data than the LOWRES simulation which tends to overestimate precipitation, mainly caused by the convection parametrization. Especially over Europe the CP resolution reduces the precipitation bias by about 30&thinsp;% to 20&thinsp;mm as a result of a better terrain representation and due to the avoidance of the convection parameterization.
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