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Masuo Nakano, Hisashi Yashiro, Chihiro Kodama, and Hirofumi Tomita


Reducing the computational cost of weather and climate simulations would lower electric energy consumption. From the standpoint of reducing costs, the use of reduced precision arithmetic has become an active area of research. Here the impact of using single-precision arithmetic on simulation accuracy is examined by conducting Jablonowski and Williamson’s baroclinic wave tests using the dynamical core of a global fully compressible nonhydrostatic model. The model employs a finite-volume method discretized on an icosahedral grid system and its mesh size is set to 220, 56, 14, and 3.5 km. When double-precision arithmetic is fully replaced by single-precision arithmetic, a spurious wavenumber-5 structure becomes dominant in both hemispheres, rather than the expected baroclinic wave growth only in the Northern Hemisphere. It was found that this spurious wave growth comes from errors in the calculation of gridcell geometrics. Therefore, an additional simulation was conducted using double precision for calculations that only need to be performed for model setup, including calculation of gridcell geometrics, and single precision everywhere else, meaning that all calculations performed each time step used single precision. In this case, the model successfully simulated the growth of the baroclinic wave with only small errors and a 46% reduction in runtime. These results suggest that the use of single-precision arithmetic will allow significant reduction of computational costs in next-generation weather and climate simulations using a fully compressible nonhydrostatic global model with the finite-volume method.

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Yoshiaki Miyamoto, Masaki Satoh, Hirofumi Tomita, Kazuyoshi Oouchi, Yohei Yamada, Chihiro Kodama, and James Kinter III


The degree of gradient wind balance was investigated in a number of tropical cyclones (TCs) simulated under realistic environments. The results of global-scale numerical simulations without cumulus parameterization were used, with a horizontal mesh size of 7 km. On average, azimuthally averaged maximum tangential velocities at 850 (925) hPa in the simulated TCs were 0.72% (1.95%) faster than gradient wind–balanced tangential velocity (GWV) during quasi-steady periods. Of the simulated TCs, 75% satisfied the gradient wind balance at the radius of maximum wind speed (RMW) at 850 and at 925 hPa to within about 4.0%. These results were qualitatively similar to those obtained during the intensification phase. In contrast, averages of the maximum and minimum deviations from the GWV, in all the azimuths at the RMW, achieved up to 40% of the maximum tangential velocity. Azimuthally averaged tangential velocities exceeded the GWV (i.e., supergradient) inside the RMW in the lower troposphere, whereas the velocities were close to or slightly slower than GWV (i.e., subgradient) in the other regions. The tangential velocities at 925 hPa were faster (slower) in the right-hand (left hand) side of the TC motion. When the tangential velocities at the RMW were supergradient, the primary circulation tended to decay rapidly in the vertical direction and slowly in the radial direction, and the eyewall updraft and the RMW were at larger radii. Statistical analyses revealed that the TC with supergradient wind at the RMW at 850 hPa was characterized by stronger intensity, larger RMW, more axisymmetric structure, and an intensity stronger than potential intensity.

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