92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 11:00 AM
Assessing the Role of Land Surface Hydrology in the Development of Terrain-Induced Convection
Room 352 (New Orleans Convention Center )
David J. Gochis, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and E. R. Vivoni and T. Xiang

Land surface hydrology has been implicated as an active participant in the initiation of atmospheric convection under certain conditions. What is less clear is how terrestrial hydrologic variability, superimposed on complex terrain regions, modifies background circulation structures such as mountain valley and mountain plain flows. We present results from a series of idealized and real-world simulation experiments which attempt to define the role and context of surface hydrology on terrain induced convection. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulation domains of the Advanced Weather Research and Forecasting Model are used and model results from ‘real-world' simulations are validated from a multi-variate land surface energy and water balance perspective. Furthermore, we present the results in the context of assessing the influence of land surface hydrologic forcing versus various possible states of atmospheric conditions including a priori moisture availability and stability. Emphasis of the analyses is placed on diagnosing key variables and threshold values for the development of convective precipitation in mountainous regions. We conclude with a set of recommendations for future observational efforts which may have the potential to reduce model initialization errors and improve forecast skill.-1-2011-->

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