3A.7 The Ability of the WRF Model to Predict Aircraft and Ground Icing Conditions

Monday, 4 June 2018: 3:00 PM
Colorado A (Grand Hyatt Denver)
Gregory Thompson, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. K. Politovich and R. M. Rasmussen

Recent advances in high-performance computing have enabled higher-resolution numerical weather models with increasingly complex data assimilation and more accurate physical parameterizations. With respect to aircraft and ground icing applications, a weather model’s cloud physics scheme is responsible for the direct forecasts of the water phase and amount and is a critical ingredient to forecasting future icing conditions. In this talk, numerical model results using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model are compared with aircraft observations taken during icing research flights and operational icing pilot reports (PIREPs), and the general characteristics of liquid water content, median volume diameter, droplet concentration, and temperature within aircraft icing environments were evaluated. The comparison reveals very promising skill by the model in predicting these characteristics consistent with observations. In addition to the explicit icing application, a ten-year analysis of surface weather conditions reveals good skill for many types of weather situations but also reveals areas that can still be improved.
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