Why Are Tropical Cyclone Tracks over the Western North Pacific Sensitive to the Cumulus Parameterization Scheme in Regional Climate Modeling? A Case Study for Megi (2010)

Yuan Sun College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Zhong Zhong Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, and College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Wei Lu College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Yijia Hu College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Abstract

The Weather Research and Forecasting Model is employed to simulate Tropical Cyclone (TC) Megi (2010) using the Grell–Devenyi (GD) and Betts–Miller–Janjić (BMJ) cumulus parameterization schemes, respectively. The TC track can be well reproduced with the GD scheme, whereas it turns earlier than observations with the BMJ scheme. The physical mechanism behind different performances of the two cumulus parameterization schemes in the TC simulation is revealed. The failure in the simulation of the TC track with the BMJ scheme is attributed to the overestimation of anvil clouds, which extend far away from the TC center and reach the area of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH). Such extensive anvil clouds, which result from the excessively deep convection in the eyewall, eventually lead to a large bias in microphysics latent heating. The warming of the upper troposphere due to the condensation in anvil clouds coupled with the cooling of the lower troposphere due to precipitation evaporation cause a weakening of the WPSH, which in turn is favorable for the early recurvature of Megi.

Corresponding author address: Zhong Zhong, College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, No. 60, Shuanglong Rd., Nanjing 211101, China. E-mail: zhong_zhong@yeah.net

Abstract

The Weather Research and Forecasting Model is employed to simulate Tropical Cyclone (TC) Megi (2010) using the Grell–Devenyi (GD) and Betts–Miller–Janjić (BMJ) cumulus parameterization schemes, respectively. The TC track can be well reproduced with the GD scheme, whereas it turns earlier than observations with the BMJ scheme. The physical mechanism behind different performances of the two cumulus parameterization schemes in the TC simulation is revealed. The failure in the simulation of the TC track with the BMJ scheme is attributed to the overestimation of anvil clouds, which extend far away from the TC center and reach the area of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH). Such extensive anvil clouds, which result from the excessively deep convection in the eyewall, eventually lead to a large bias in microphysics latent heating. The warming of the upper troposphere due to the condensation in anvil clouds coupled with the cooling of the lower troposphere due to precipitation evaporation cause a weakening of the WPSH, which in turn is favorable for the early recurvature of Megi.

Corresponding author address: Zhong Zhong, College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, No. 60, Shuanglong Rd., Nanjing 211101, China. E-mail: zhong_zhong@yeah.net
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