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Precipitation Forecast Experiments Using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model at Gray-Zone Resolutions

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  • 1 Korea Institute of Atmospheric Prediction Systems, Seoul, South Korea
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Abstract

In the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) community, a standard model setup at a grid size smaller than 5 km excludes cumulus parameterization (CP), although it is unclear how to determine a cutoff grid size where convection permitting can be assumed adequate. Also, efforts to improve high-resolution precipitation forecasts in the range of 1–10 km (the so-called gray zone for parameterized precipitation physics) have recently been made. In this study, we attempt to statistically evaluate the skill of a gray-zone CP with a focus on the quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) in the summertime. A WRF Model simulation with the gray-zone simplified Arakawa–Schubert (GSAS) CP at 3-km spatial resolution over East Asia is evaluated for the summer of 2013 and compared with the results from a conventional setup without CP. A statistical evaluation of the 3-month simulations shows that the GSAS demonstrates a typical distribution of the QPF skill, with high (low) scores and bias in the light (heavy) precipitation category. The WRF without CP seriously suppresses light precipitation events, but its skill for heavier categories is better. Meanwhile, a new set of precipitation data, which is simply averaged precipitation from the two simulations, demonstrates the best skill in all precipitation categories. Bearing in mind that high-resolution QPF requires essential challenges in model components, along with complexity in precipitating convection mechanisms over geographically different regions, this proposed method can serve as an alternative for improving the QPF for practical usage.

© 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: Ji-Young Han, jy.han@kiaps.org

Abstract

In the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) community, a standard model setup at a grid size smaller than 5 km excludes cumulus parameterization (CP), although it is unclear how to determine a cutoff grid size where convection permitting can be assumed adequate. Also, efforts to improve high-resolution precipitation forecasts in the range of 1–10 km (the so-called gray zone for parameterized precipitation physics) have recently been made. In this study, we attempt to statistically evaluate the skill of a gray-zone CP with a focus on the quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) in the summertime. A WRF Model simulation with the gray-zone simplified Arakawa–Schubert (GSAS) CP at 3-km spatial resolution over East Asia is evaluated for the summer of 2013 and compared with the results from a conventional setup without CP. A statistical evaluation of the 3-month simulations shows that the GSAS demonstrates a typical distribution of the QPF skill, with high (low) scores and bias in the light (heavy) precipitation category. The WRF without CP seriously suppresses light precipitation events, but its skill for heavier categories is better. Meanwhile, a new set of precipitation data, which is simply averaged precipitation from the two simulations, demonstrates the best skill in all precipitation categories. Bearing in mind that high-resolution QPF requires essential challenges in model components, along with complexity in precipitating convection mechanisms over geographically different regions, this proposed method can serve as an alternative for improving the QPF for practical usage.

© 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: Ji-Young Han, jy.han@kiaps.org
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