340 Improving Synoptic and Intra-Seasonnal Variability in CFS Via a Better Representation of Organized Convection

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Boualem Khouider, Univ. of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada; and B. B. Goswami, P. Mukhopadhyay, R. Phani, and A. Majda

Improvements in the capability of climate models to realistically capture the synoptic and intra-seasonnal variability, associated with tropical rainfall, are conditioned by  improvement in the representation of the subgrid variability due to organized convection and the underlying two-way interactions through multiple scales and thus breaking with the quasi-equilibrium bottleneck. By design, the stochastic multi-cloud model (SMCM) mimics the life cycle of organized tropical convective systems and the interactions of the associated cloud types with each  other and with large scales, as it is observed.  It is based a lattice particle interaction model for predefined microscopic (subgrid) sites that make random transitions from one cloud type to another conditional to the large scale state. In return the SMCM provides the cloud type area fractions on the form of a Markov chain model which can be run in parallel with the climate model without any significant computational overhead. The SMCM was previously successfully tested in both reduced complexity tropical models and an aquaplanet global atmospheric model. Here, we report for the first time the results of  its implementation  in the fully coupled NCEP climate model (CFSv2) through the used of prescribed vertical profiles of heating and drying obtained from observations. While many known biases in CFSv2 have been slightly improved there are no noticeable degradation in the simulated mean climatology. Nonetheless, comparison with observations show that the improvements in terms of synoptic and intra-seasonnal variability are spectacular, despite the fact that CFSv2 is one of the best models in this regard. In particular, while CFSv2 exaggerates the intra-seasonnal variance at the expense of the synoptic contribution, the CFS-SMCM shows a good balance between the two as in the observations.         

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner