Implementation of a Silver Iodide Cloud-Seeding Parameterization in WRF. Part II: 3D Simulations of Actual Seeding Events and Sensitivity Tests

Lulin Xue National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado

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Sarah A. Tessendorf National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado

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Eric Nelson National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado

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Roy Rasmussen National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado

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Daniel Breed National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado

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Shaun Parkinson Idaho Power Company, Boise, Idaho

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Pat Holbrook Idaho Power Company, Boise, Idaho

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Derek Blestrud Idaho Power Company, Boise, Idaho

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Abstract

Four cloud-seeding cases over southern Idaho during the 2010/11 winter season have been simulated by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model using the coupled silver iodide (AgI) cloud-seeding scheme that was described in Part I. The seeding effects of both ground-based and airborne seeding as well as the impacts of model physics, seeding rates, location, timing, and cloud properties on seeding effects have been investigated. The results were compared with those from Part I and showed the following: 1) For the four cases tested in this study, control simulations driven by the Real-Time Four Dimensional Data Assimilation (RTFDDA) WRF forecast data generated more realistic atmospheric conditions and precipitation patterns than those driven by the North America Regional Reanalysis data. Sensitivity experiments therefore used the RTFDDA data. 2) Glaciogenic cloud seeding increased orographic precipitation by less than 1% over the simulation domain, including the Snake River basin, and by up to 5% over the target areas. The local values of the relative precipitation enhancement by seeding were ~20%. Most of the enhancement came from vapor depletion. 3) The seeding effect was inversely related to the natural precipitation efficiency but was positively related to seeding rates. 4) Airborne seeding is generally more efficient than ground-based seeding in terms of targeting, but its efficiency depends on local meteorological conditions. 5) The normalized seeding effects ranged from 0.4 to 1.6 under various conditions for a certain seeding event.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Corresponding author address: Lulin Xue, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307. E-mail: xuel@ucar.edu

Abstract

Four cloud-seeding cases over southern Idaho during the 2010/11 winter season have been simulated by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model using the coupled silver iodide (AgI) cloud-seeding scheme that was described in Part I. The seeding effects of both ground-based and airborne seeding as well as the impacts of model physics, seeding rates, location, timing, and cloud properties on seeding effects have been investigated. The results were compared with those from Part I and showed the following: 1) For the four cases tested in this study, control simulations driven by the Real-Time Four Dimensional Data Assimilation (RTFDDA) WRF forecast data generated more realistic atmospheric conditions and precipitation patterns than those driven by the North America Regional Reanalysis data. Sensitivity experiments therefore used the RTFDDA data. 2) Glaciogenic cloud seeding increased orographic precipitation by less than 1% over the simulation domain, including the Snake River basin, and by up to 5% over the target areas. The local values of the relative precipitation enhancement by seeding were ~20%. Most of the enhancement came from vapor depletion. 3) The seeding effect was inversely related to the natural precipitation efficiency but was positively related to seeding rates. 4) Airborne seeding is generally more efficient than ground-based seeding in terms of targeting, but its efficiency depends on local meteorological conditions. 5) The normalized seeding effects ranged from 0.4 to 1.6 under various conditions for a certain seeding event.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Corresponding author address: Lulin Xue, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307. E-mail: xuel@ucar.edu
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