486 Assessing the Effects of LSS Choice on Simulated Geopotential Heights over China: A Case Study Using WRF

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Xin-Min Zeng, College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai Univ., Nanjing, China; and B. Wang and N. Wang

Handout (5.5 MB)

To assess the effects of different land surface schemes (LSSs) on simulated geopotential height(GPH) fields,we performed simulations over China for the summer of 2003 using 12-member ensembles with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, version 3. The results show that while the model can generally simulate the seasonal and monthly mean GPH patterns, the effects of the LSS choice on simulated GPH fields are sub-stantial, with the LSS-induced differences exceeding 10 gpm over a large area (especially the northwest) of China, which is very large compared with climate anomalies and forecast errors. In terms of the assessment measures for the four LSS ensembles [namely, the five-layer thermal diffusion scheme (SLAB), the Noah LSS (NOAH), the Rapid Update Cycle LSS (RUC), and the Pleim–Xiu LSS (PLEX)] in the WRF, the PLEX ensemble is the best, followed by the NOAH, RUC, and SLAB ensembles. The sensitivity of the simulated 850-hPa GPH is more significant than that of the 500-hPa GPH, with the 500-hPa GPH difference fields generally characterized by two large areas with opposite signs due to the smoothly varying nature of GPHs. LSS-induced GPH sensitivity is found to be higher than the GPH sensitivity induced by atmospheric boundary layer schemes. Moreover, theoretical analyses show that the LSS-induced GPH sensitivity is mainly caused by changes in surface fluxes (in particular, sensible heat flux), which further modify atmospheric temperature and pressure fields. The temperature and pressure fields generally have opposite contributions to changes in the GPH. This study emphasizes the importance of choosing and improving LSSs for simulating seasonal and monthly GPHs using regional climate models.
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