598 A Generalized Formulation of Convective Adjusment Timescale for Cumulus Parameterization Schemes

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Jian He, EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC; and K. Alapaty and J. A. Herwehe

Convective adjustment timescale (τ) for cumulus clouds is one of the most influential parameters controlling parameterized convective precipitation in climate and weather simulation models at global and regional scales. Due to the complex nature of deep convection, a prescribed value or ad hoc representation of τ is used in most global and regional climate/weather models making it a tunable parameter and yet still resulting in uncertainties in convective precipitation simulations. In this work, a generalized simple formulation of τ for use in any convection parameterization for shallow and deep clouds is developed to reduce convective precipitation biases at different grid spacing. Unlike existing other methods, our new formulation can be used with field campaign measurements to estimate τ as demonstrated by using data from two different special field campaigns. Then, we implemented our formulation into a regional model (WRF) for testing and evaluation.   Results indicate that our simple τ formulation can give realistic temporal and spatial variations of τ across continental U.S. as well as grid-scale and subgrid scale precipitation. We also found that as the grid spacing decreases (e.g., from 36 to 4-km grid spacing), grid-scale precipitation dominants over subgrid-scale precipitation. The generalized τ formulation works for various types of atmospheric conditions (ef.g., continental clouds due to heating and large-scale forcing over land/water like in monsoon environments), and various horizontal resolutions (through hundred kilometers to a few kilometers).
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