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Quadrature Methods for the Calculation of Subgrid Microphysics Moments

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  • 1 Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California
  • | 2 University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Abstract

Many cloud microphysical processes occur on a much smaller scale than a typical numerical grid box can resolve. In such cases, a probability density function (PDF) can act as a proxy for subgrid variability in these microphysical processes. This method is known as the assumed PDF method. By placing a density on the microphysical fields, one can use samples from this density to estimate microphysics averages. In the assumed PDF method, the calculation of such microphysical averages has primarily been done using classical Monte Carlo methods and Latin hypercube sampling. Although these techniques are fairly easy to implement and ubiquitous in the literature, they suffer from slow convergence rates as a function of the number of samples. This paper proposes using deterministic quadrature methods instead of traditional random sampling approaches to compute the microphysics statistical moments for the assumed PDF method. For smooth functions, the quadrature-based methods can achieve much greater accuracy with fewer samples by choosing tailored quadrature points and weights instead of random samples. Moreover, these techniques are fairly easy to implement and conceptually similar to Monte Carlo–type methods. As a prototypical microphysical formula, Khairoutdinov and Kogan’s autoconversion and accretion formulas are used to illustrate the benefit of using quadrature instead of Monte Carlo or Latin hypercube sampling.

Corresponding author address: K. Chowdhary, Sandia National Laboratories, 7011 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94551. E-mail: kchowdh@sandia.gov

Abstract

Many cloud microphysical processes occur on a much smaller scale than a typical numerical grid box can resolve. In such cases, a probability density function (PDF) can act as a proxy for subgrid variability in these microphysical processes. This method is known as the assumed PDF method. By placing a density on the microphysical fields, one can use samples from this density to estimate microphysics averages. In the assumed PDF method, the calculation of such microphysical averages has primarily been done using classical Monte Carlo methods and Latin hypercube sampling. Although these techniques are fairly easy to implement and ubiquitous in the literature, they suffer from slow convergence rates as a function of the number of samples. This paper proposes using deterministic quadrature methods instead of traditional random sampling approaches to compute the microphysics statistical moments for the assumed PDF method. For smooth functions, the quadrature-based methods can achieve much greater accuracy with fewer samples by choosing tailored quadrature points and weights instead of random samples. Moreover, these techniques are fairly easy to implement and conceptually similar to Monte Carlo–type methods. As a prototypical microphysical formula, Khairoutdinov and Kogan’s autoconversion and accretion formulas are used to illustrate the benefit of using quadrature instead of Monte Carlo or Latin hypercube sampling.

Corresponding author address: K. Chowdhary, Sandia National Laboratories, 7011 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94551. E-mail: kchowdh@sandia.gov
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