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Impact of Flow-Dependent Horizontal Diffusion on Resolved Convection in AROME

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  • 1 Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
  • | 2 Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, KNMI, De Bilt, Netherlands
  • | 3 Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Prague, Czech Republic
  • | 4 Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
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Abstract

Horizontal diffusion in numerical weather prediction models is, in general, applied to reduce numerical noise at the smallest atmospheric scales. In convection-permitting models, with horizontal grid spacing on the order of 1–3 km, horizontal diffusion can improve the model skill of physical parameters such as convective precipitation. For instance, studies using the convection-permitting Applications of Research to Operations at Mesoscale model (AROME) have shown an improvement in forecasts of large precipitation amounts when horizontal diffusion is applied to falling hydrometeors. The nonphysical nature of such a procedure is undesirable, however. Within the current AROME, horizontal diffusion is imposed using linear spectral horizontal diffusion on dynamical model fields. This spectral diffusion is complemented by nonlinear, flow-dependent, horizontal diffusion applied on turbulent kinetic energy, cloud water, cloud ice, rain, snow, and graupel. In this study, nonlinear flow-dependent diffusion is applied to the dynamical model fields rather than diffusing the already predicted falling hydrometeors. In particular, the characteristics of deep convection are investigated. Results indicate that, for the same amount of diffusive damping, the maximum convective updrafts remain strong for both the current and proposed methods of horizontal diffusion. Diffusing the falling hydrometeors is necessary to see a reduction in rain intensity, but a more physically justified solution can be obtained by increasing the amount of damping on the smallest atmospheric scales using the nonlinear, flow-dependent, diffusion scheme. In doing so, a reduction in vertical velocity was found, resulting in a reduction in maximum rain intensity.

Corresponding author address: Lisa Bengtsson, SMHI, Folkborgsvägen 1, Norrköping 601 76, Sweden. E-mail: lisa.bengtsson@smhi.se

Abstract

Horizontal diffusion in numerical weather prediction models is, in general, applied to reduce numerical noise at the smallest atmospheric scales. In convection-permitting models, with horizontal grid spacing on the order of 1–3 km, horizontal diffusion can improve the model skill of physical parameters such as convective precipitation. For instance, studies using the convection-permitting Applications of Research to Operations at Mesoscale model (AROME) have shown an improvement in forecasts of large precipitation amounts when horizontal diffusion is applied to falling hydrometeors. The nonphysical nature of such a procedure is undesirable, however. Within the current AROME, horizontal diffusion is imposed using linear spectral horizontal diffusion on dynamical model fields. This spectral diffusion is complemented by nonlinear, flow-dependent, horizontal diffusion applied on turbulent kinetic energy, cloud water, cloud ice, rain, snow, and graupel. In this study, nonlinear flow-dependent diffusion is applied to the dynamical model fields rather than diffusing the already predicted falling hydrometeors. In particular, the characteristics of deep convection are investigated. Results indicate that, for the same amount of diffusive damping, the maximum convective updrafts remain strong for both the current and proposed methods of horizontal diffusion. Diffusing the falling hydrometeors is necessary to see a reduction in rain intensity, but a more physically justified solution can be obtained by increasing the amount of damping on the smallest atmospheric scales using the nonlinear, flow-dependent, diffusion scheme. In doing so, a reduction in vertical velocity was found, resulting in a reduction in maximum rain intensity.

Corresponding author address: Lisa Bengtsson, SMHI, Folkborgsvägen 1, Norrköping 601 76, Sweden. E-mail: lisa.bengtsson@smhi.se
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