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Bjørg Jenny Kokkvoll Engdahl
,
Tim Carlsen
,
Morten Køltzow
, and
Trude Storelvmo

Abstract

In-cloud icing is a major hazard for aviation traffic and forecasting of these events is an important task for weather agencies worldwide. A common tool utilized by aviation forecasters is an icing intensity index based on supercooled liquid water from numerical weather prediction models. We seek to validate the modified microphysics scheme, ICE-T, in the HARMONIE-AROME numerical weather prediction model with respect to aircraft icing. Icing intensities and supercooled liquid water derived from two 3-month winter season simulations with the original microphysics code, CTRL, and ICE-T are compared with pilot reports of icing and satellite retrieved values of liquid and ice water content from CloudSat–CALIPSO and liquid water path from AMSR-2. The results show increased supercooled liquid water and higher icing indices in ICE-T. Several different thresholds and sizes of neighborhood areas for icing forecasts were tested out, and ICE-T captures more of the reported icing events for all thresholds and nearly all neighborhood areas. With a higher frequency of forecasted icing, a higher false alarm ratio cannot be ruled out, but is not possible to quantify due to the lack of no-icing observations. The increased liquid water content in ICE-T shows a better match with the retrieved satellite observations, yet the values are still greatly underestimated at lower levels. Future studies should investigate this issue further, as liquid water content also has implications for downstream processes such as the cloud radiative effect, latent heat release, and precipitation.

Open access
Franziska Hellmuth
,
Bjørg Jenny Kokkvoll Engdahl
,
Trude Storelvmo
,
Robert O. David
, and
Steven J. Cooper

Abstract

In the winter, orographic precipitation falls as snow in the mid- to high latitudes where it causes avalanches, affects local infrastructure, or leads to flooding during the spring thaw. We present a technique to validate operational numerical weather prediction model simulations in complex terrain. The presented verification technique uses a combined retrieval approach to obtain surface snowfall accumulation and vertical profiles of snow water at the Haukeliseter test site, Norway. Both surface observations and vertical profiles of snow are used to validate model simulations from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute’s operational forecast system and two simulations with adjusted cloud microphysics. Retrieved surface snowfall is validated against measurements conducted with a double-fence automated reference gauge (DFAR). In comparison, the optimal estimation snowfall retrieval produces +10.9% more surface snowfall than the DFAR. The predicted surface snowfall from the operational forecast model and two additional simulations with microphysical adjustments (CTRL and ICE-T) are overestimated at the surface with +41.0%, +43.8%, and +59.2%, respectively. Simultaneously, the CTRL and ICE-T simulations underestimate the mean snow water path by −1071.4% and −523.7%, respectively. The study shows that we would reach false conclusions only using surface accumulation or vertical snow water content profiles. These results highlight the need to combine ground-based in situ and vertically profiling remote sensing instruments to identify biases in numerical weather prediction.

Open access