A Multilayer Upper-Boundary Condition for Longwave Radiative Flux to Correct Temperature Biases in a Mesoscale Model

Steven M. Cavallo National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Jimy Dudhia National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Chris Snyder National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Abstract

An upper-level cold bias in potential temperature tendencies of 10 K day−1, strongest at the top of the model, is observed in Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model forecasts. The bias originates from the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model longwave radiation physics scheme and can be reduced substantially by 1) modifying the treatment within the scheme by adding a multilayer buffer between the model top and top of the atmosphere and 2) constraining stratospheric water vapor to remain within the estimated climatology in the stratosphere. These changes reduce the longwave heating rate bias at the model top to ±0.5 K day−1. Corresponding bias reductions are also seen, particularly near the tropopause.

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

Corresponding author address: Steven Cavallo, NCAR/Earth System Laboratory, 3450 Mitchell Ln., Boulder, CO 80301. E-mail: cavallo@ucar.edu

Abstract

An upper-level cold bias in potential temperature tendencies of 10 K day−1, strongest at the top of the model, is observed in Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model forecasts. The bias originates from the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model longwave radiation physics scheme and can be reduced substantially by 1) modifying the treatment within the scheme by adding a multilayer buffer between the model top and top of the atmosphere and 2) constraining stratospheric water vapor to remain within the estimated climatology in the stratosphere. These changes reduce the longwave heating rate bias at the model top to ±0.5 K day−1. Corresponding bias reductions are also seen, particularly near the tropopause.

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

Corresponding author address: Steven Cavallo, NCAR/Earth System Laboratory, 3450 Mitchell Ln., Boulder, CO 80301. E-mail: cavallo@ucar.edu
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