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Boundary Layer Characteristics over Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Surfaces Simulated by MM5 and DALES

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  • 1 Meteorology and Air Quality Section, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands
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Abstract

The multiple-single-column approach is proposed as a new concept to study the boundary layer parameterization scheme in the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5). The results are compared with the Dutch Atmospheric Large-Eddy Simulation Model (DALES). Numerical experiments were performed over homogeneous and heterogeneous surfaces under clear convective boundary layer conditions. Identical simulations using MM5 and DALES were performed, which enabled an evaluation of the MM5 boundary layer scheme with DALES results. From the experiment with a homogeneous surface, MM5 shows a slightly shallower, colder, and moister boundary layer than DALES. This result is produced by an underestimation of turbulent mixing near the surface and less-vigorous entrainment of heat and dry air in MM5. In the heterogeneous surface experiment, the domain is divided into dry and wet patches, with the result that both models produce a mesoscale circulation. However, relative to the homogeneous case, larger differences were found between the models in the representation of the boundary layer dynamics. In DALES, the surface heterogeneity influenced the turbulent motions, making the mesoscale circulation much stronger (wmax is 6 times as large) than in MM5. Because of this stronger circulation, the boundary layer height, bulk temperature, and humidity also displayed differences in time and spatial patterns. Because of the land–atmosphere coupling in MM5, the mesoscale circulation strengthened the surface flux heterogeneity. Cold and moist air advection close to the surface from the wet patch to the dry patch increased the sensible heat flux above the dry patch and thus the induced mesoscale flow.

Corresponding author address: Miranda Braam, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, Netherlands. E-mail: miranda.braam@wur.nl

Abstract

The multiple-single-column approach is proposed as a new concept to study the boundary layer parameterization scheme in the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5). The results are compared with the Dutch Atmospheric Large-Eddy Simulation Model (DALES). Numerical experiments were performed over homogeneous and heterogeneous surfaces under clear convective boundary layer conditions. Identical simulations using MM5 and DALES were performed, which enabled an evaluation of the MM5 boundary layer scheme with DALES results. From the experiment with a homogeneous surface, MM5 shows a slightly shallower, colder, and moister boundary layer than DALES. This result is produced by an underestimation of turbulent mixing near the surface and less-vigorous entrainment of heat and dry air in MM5. In the heterogeneous surface experiment, the domain is divided into dry and wet patches, with the result that both models produce a mesoscale circulation. However, relative to the homogeneous case, larger differences were found between the models in the representation of the boundary layer dynamics. In DALES, the surface heterogeneity influenced the turbulent motions, making the mesoscale circulation much stronger (wmax is 6 times as large) than in MM5. Because of this stronger circulation, the boundary layer height, bulk temperature, and humidity also displayed differences in time and spatial patterns. Because of the land–atmosphere coupling in MM5, the mesoscale circulation strengthened the surface flux heterogeneity. Cold and moist air advection close to the surface from the wet patch to the dry patch increased the sensible heat flux above the dry patch and thus the induced mesoscale flow.

Corresponding author address: Miranda Braam, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, Netherlands. E-mail: miranda.braam@wur.nl
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