A Cloud-Resolving Model with an Adaptive Vertical Grid for Boundary Layer Clouds

Roger Marchand Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Search for other papers by Roger Marchand in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Thomas Ackerman Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Search for other papers by Thomas Ackerman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

Accurate cloud-resolving model simulations of cloud cover and cloud water content for boundary layer clouds are difficult to achieve without vertical grid spacing well below 100 m, especially for inversion-topped stratocumulus. The need for fine vertical grid spacing presents a significant impediment to global or large regional simulations using cloud-resolving models, including the Multiscale Modeling Framework (MMF), in which a two-dimensional or small three-dimensional cloud-resolving model is embedded into each grid cell of a global climate model in place of more traditional cloud parameterizations. One potential solution to this problem is to use a model with an adaptive vertical grid (i.e., a model that is able to add vertical layers where and when needed) rather than trying to use a fixed grid with fine vertical spacing throughout the boundary layer. This article examines simulations with an adaptive vertical grid for three well-studied stratocumulus cases based on observations from the second Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus (DYCOMS-II) experiment, the Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX), and the Atlantic Trade Cumulus Experiment (ATEX). For each case, three criteria are examined for determining where to add or remove vertical layers. One criterion is based on the domain-averaged potential temperature profile; the other two are based on the ratio of the estimated subgrid-scale to total water flux and turbulent kinetic energy. The results of the adaptive vertical grid simulations are encouraging in that these simulations are able to produce results similar to simulations using fine vertical grid spacing throughout the boundary layer, while using many fewer vertical layers.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Roger Marchand, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Box 355672, 3737 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105. E-mail: rojmarch@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Accurate cloud-resolving model simulations of cloud cover and cloud water content for boundary layer clouds are difficult to achieve without vertical grid spacing well below 100 m, especially for inversion-topped stratocumulus. The need for fine vertical grid spacing presents a significant impediment to global or large regional simulations using cloud-resolving models, including the Multiscale Modeling Framework (MMF), in which a two-dimensional or small three-dimensional cloud-resolving model is embedded into each grid cell of a global climate model in place of more traditional cloud parameterizations. One potential solution to this problem is to use a model with an adaptive vertical grid (i.e., a model that is able to add vertical layers where and when needed) rather than trying to use a fixed grid with fine vertical spacing throughout the boundary layer. This article examines simulations with an adaptive vertical grid for three well-studied stratocumulus cases based on observations from the second Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus (DYCOMS-II) experiment, the Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX), and the Atlantic Trade Cumulus Experiment (ATEX). For each case, three criteria are examined for determining where to add or remove vertical layers. One criterion is based on the domain-averaged potential temperature profile; the other two are based on the ratio of the estimated subgrid-scale to total water flux and turbulent kinetic energy. The results of the adaptive vertical grid simulations are encouraging in that these simulations are able to produce results similar to simulations using fine vertical grid spacing throughout the boundary layer, while using many fewer vertical layers.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Roger Marchand, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Box 355672, 3737 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105. E-mail: rojmarch@u.washington.edu
Save
  • Albrecht, B. A., C. S. Bretherton, D. W. Johnson, W. H. Schubert, and A. S. Frisch, 1995: The Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment—ASTEX. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 76, 889904.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bacon, D. P., N. Ahmad, T. J. Dunn, S. G. Gopalakrishnan, M. S. Hall, and A. Sarma, 2007: Hurricane track forecasting with OMEGA. Nat. Hazards, 41, 457470.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barros, S. R. M., and C. I. Garcia, 2004: A global semi-implicit semi-Lagrangian shallow-water model on locally refined grids. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 5365.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bretherton, C. S., and Coauthors, 1999a: An intercomparison of radiatively driven entrainment and turbulence in a smoke cloud, as simulated by different numerical models. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 125, 391423.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bretherton, C. S., S. K. Krueger, M. C. Wyant, P. Bechtold, E. van Meijgaard, B. Stevens, and J. Teixeira, 1999b: A GCSS boundary layer model intercomparison study of the first ASTEX Lagrangian experiment. Bound.-Layer Meteor., 93, 341380.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cheng, A., and K.-M. Xu, 2008: Simulation of boundary-layer cumulus and stratocumulus clouds using a cloud-resolving model with low- and third-order turbulence closures. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 86A, 6786.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cheng, A., K.-M. Xu, and B. Stevens, 2010: Effects of resolution on the simulation of boundary-layer clouds and the partition of kinetic energy to subgrid scales. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 2 (3), doi:10.3894/JAMES.2010.2.3.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deardorff, J. W., 1980: Stratocumulus-capped mixed layers derived from a three-dimensional model. Bound.-Layer Meteor., 18, 495527.

  • de Roode, S. R., and P. G. Duynkerke, 1997: Observed Lagrangian transition of stratocumulus into cumulus during ASTEX: Mean state and turbulence structure. J. Atmos. Sci., 54, 21572173.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dietachmayer, G. S., and K. K. Droegemeier, 1992: Application of continuous dynamic grid adaption techniques to meteorological modeling. Part I: Basic formulation and accuracy. Mon. Wea. Rev., 120, 16751706.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duynkerke, P. G., H. Q. Zhang, and P. J. Jonker, 1995: Microphysical and turbulent structure of nocturnal stratocumulus as observed during ASTEX. J. Atmos. Sci., 52, 27632777.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duynkerke, P. G., and Coauthors, 1999: Intercomparison of three- and one-dimensional model simulations and aircraft observations of stratocumulus. Bound.-Layer Meteor., 92, 453487.doi:10.1023/A:1002006919256.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fiedler, B. H., and R. J. Trapp, 1993: A fast dynamic grid adaption scheme for meteorological flows. Mon. Wea. Rev., 121, 28792888.

  • Grabowski, W. W., 2001: Coupling cloud processes with the large-scale dynamics using the cloud-resolving convection parameterization (CRCP). J. Atmos. Sci., 68, 978997.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Iselin, J. P., W. J. Gutowski, and J. M. Prusa, 2005: Tracer advection using dynamic grid adaptation and MM5. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 175187.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jablonowski, C., M. Herzog, J. E. Penner, R. C. Oehmke, Q. F. Stout, B. van Leer, and K. G. Powell, 2006: Block-structured adaptive grids on the sphere: Advection experiments. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 36913713.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khairoutdinov, M. F., and Y. L. Kogan, 1999: A large-eddy simulation model with explicit microphysics: Validation against aircraft observations of a stratocumulus-topped boundary laye. J. Atmos. Sci., 56, 21152131.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khairoutdinov, M. F., and Y. L. Kogan, 2000: A new cloud physics parameterization in a large-eddy simulation model of marine stratocumulus. Mon. Wea. Rev., 128, 229243.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khairoutdinov, M. F., and D. A. Randall, 2003: Cloud resolving modeling of the ARM summer 1997 IOP: Model formulation, results, uncertainties, and sensitivities. J. Atmos. Sci., 60, 607625.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lauter, M., D. Handorf, N. Rakowsky, J. Behrens, S. Frickenhaus, M. Best, K. Dethloff, and W. Hiller, 2007: A parallel adaptive barotropic model of the atmosphere. J. Comput. Phys., 223, 609628.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marchand, R., and T. P. Ackerman, 2010: An analysis of cloud cover in multiscale modeling framework global climate model simulations using 4 and 1 km horizontal grids. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D16207, doi:10.1029/2009JD013423.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marchand, R., J. Haynes, G. G. Mace, T. Ackerman, and G. Stephens, 2009: A comparison of simulated cloud radar output from the multiscale modeling framework global climate model with CloudSat cloud radar observations. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D00A20, doi:10.1029/2008JD009790.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Randall, D., M. Khairoutdinov, A. Arakawa, and W. Grabowski, 2003: Breaking the cloud parameterizations deadlock. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 15471564.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Skamarock, W. C., and J. B. Klemp, 1993: Adaptive grid refinement for two-dimensional and three-dimensional nonhydrostatic atmospheric flow. Mon. Wea. Rev., 121, 788804.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stevens, B., and Coauthors, 2001: Simulations of trade wind cumuli under a strong inversion. J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 18701891.

  • Stevens, B., and Coauthors, 2003: On entrainment rates in nocturnal marine stratocumulus. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 129, 34693493.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stevens, B., and Coauthors, 2005: Evaluation of large-eddy simulations via observations of nocturnal marine stratocumulus. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 14431462.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stevens, D. E., and C. S. Bretherton, 1999: Effects of resolution on the simulation of stratocumulus entrainment. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 125, 425439.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stevens, D. E., A. S. Ackerman, and C. S. Bretherton, 2002: Effects of domain size and numerical resolution on the simulation of shallow cumulus convection. J. Atmos. Sci., 59, 32853301.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, Y., and Coauthors, 2008: On the diurnal cycle of deep convection, high-level cloud, and upper troposphere water vapor in the Multiscale Modeling Framework. J. Geophys. Res., 113, D16105, doi:10.1029/2008JD009905.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 193 75 11
PDF Downloads 89 44 1