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Microphysical Characteristics of Squall-Line Stratiform Precipitation and Transition Zones Simulated Using an Ice Particle Property-Evolving Model

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 2 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • | 3 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

A quasi-idealized 3D squall-line case is simulated using a novel bulk microphysics scheme called the Ice-Spheroids Habit Model with Aspect-ratio Evolution (ISHMAEL). In ISHMAEL, the evolution of ice particle properties (e.g., mass, shape, maximum diameter, density, and fall speed) are predicted during vapor growth, sublimation, riming, and melting, allowing ice properties to evolve from various microphysical processes without needing separate unrimed and rimed ice categories. ISHMAEL produces both a transition zone and an enhanced stratiform precipitation region, and ice particle properties are analyzed to determine the characteristics of ice that lead to the development of these squall-line features. Rimed particles advected rearward from the convective region produce the enhanced stratiform precipitation region. The transition zone results from hydrometeor sorting; the evolution of ice particle properties in the convective region leads to fall speeds that favor ice advecting rearward of the transition zone before reaching the melting level, causing a local minimum in precipitation rate and reflectivity there. Sensitivity studies show that the fall speed of ice particles largely determines the location of the enhanced stratiform precipitation region and whether or not a transition zone forms. The representation of microphysical processes, such as rime splintering and aggregation, and ice size distribution shape can impact the mean ice particle fall speeds enough to significantly impact the location of the enhanced stratiform precipitation region and the existence of the transition zone.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Anders A. Jensen, ajensen@ucar.edu

Abstract

A quasi-idealized 3D squall-line case is simulated using a novel bulk microphysics scheme called the Ice-Spheroids Habit Model with Aspect-ratio Evolution (ISHMAEL). In ISHMAEL, the evolution of ice particle properties (e.g., mass, shape, maximum diameter, density, and fall speed) are predicted during vapor growth, sublimation, riming, and melting, allowing ice properties to evolve from various microphysical processes without needing separate unrimed and rimed ice categories. ISHMAEL produces both a transition zone and an enhanced stratiform precipitation region, and ice particle properties are analyzed to determine the characteristics of ice that lead to the development of these squall-line features. Rimed particles advected rearward from the convective region produce the enhanced stratiform precipitation region. The transition zone results from hydrometeor sorting; the evolution of ice particle properties in the convective region leads to fall speeds that favor ice advecting rearward of the transition zone before reaching the melting level, causing a local minimum in precipitation rate and reflectivity there. Sensitivity studies show that the fall speed of ice particles largely determines the location of the enhanced stratiform precipitation region and whether or not a transition zone forms. The representation of microphysical processes, such as rime splintering and aggregation, and ice size distribution shape can impact the mean ice particle fall speeds enough to significantly impact the location of the enhanced stratiform precipitation region and the existence of the transition zone.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Anders A. Jensen, ajensen@ucar.edu
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