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  • Author or Editor: Z. J. Lebo x
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Z. J. Lebo
and
H. Morrison

Abstract

The sensitivity of an idealized squall line to horizontal and vertical grid spacing is investigated using a new approach. Simulations are first performed at a horizontal grid spacing of 1 km until the storm reaches its mature stage. The model output is then interpolated to smaller (and larger) grid spacings, and the model is restarted using the interpolated state plus small thermodynamic perturbations to spin up small-scale motions. This framework allows an investigation of the sensitivity of the storm to changes in without complications from differences in storm initiation and early evolution. The restarted simulations reach a quasi steady state within approximately 1 h. Results demonstrate that there are two -dependent regimes with the transition between regimes occurring for between 250 and 500 m. Some storm characteristics, such as the mean convective core area, change substantially for 250 m but show limited sensitivity as is decreased below 250 m, despite better resolving smaller-scale turbulent motions. This transition is found to be independent of the chosen . Mixing in the context of varying and is also investigated via passive tracers that are initialized 1 h after restarting the simulations (i.e., after the spin up of small-scale motions). The tracer field at the end of the simulations reveals that entrainment and detrainment are suppressed in the simulations with 500 m. For decreasing , entrainment and detrainment are substantially more important, limiting the flux of low-level tracer to the upper troposphere, which has important implications for modeling studies of convective transport from the boundary layer through the troposphere.

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Z. J. Lebo
,
C. R. Williams
,
G. Feingold
, and
V. E. Larson

Abstract

The spatial variability of rain rate R is evaluated by using both radar observations and cloud-resolving model output, focusing on the Tropical Warm Pool–International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE) period. In general, the model-predicted rain-rate probability distributions agree well with those estimated from the radar data across a wide range of spatial scales. The spatial variability in R, which is defined according to the standard deviation of R (for R greater than a predefined threshold R min) σ(R), is found to vary according to both the average of R over a given footprint μ(R) and the footprint size or averaging scale Δ. There is good agreement between area-averaged model output and radar data at a height of 2.5 km. The model output at the surface is used to construct a scale-dependent parameterization of σ(R) as a function of μ(R) and Δ that can be readily implemented into large-scale numerical models. The variability in both the rainwater mixing ratio q r and R as a function of height is also explored. From the statistical analysis, a scale- and height-dependent formulation for the spatial variability of both q r and R is provided for the analyzed tropical scenario. Last, it is shown how this parameterization can be used to assist in constraining parameters that are often used to describe the surface rain-rate distribution.

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