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Xiping Zeng, Wei-Kuo Tao, Minghua Zhang, Christa Peters-Lidard, Stephen Lang, Joanne Simpson, Sujay Kumar, Shaocheng Xie, Joseph L. Eastman, Chung-Lin Shie, and James V. Geiger


Two 20-day, continental midlatitude cases are simulated with a three-dimensional (3D) cloud-resolving model (CRM) and are compared to Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) data. Surface fluxes from ARM ground stations and a land data assimilation system are used to drive the CRM. This modeling evaluation shows that the model simulates precipitation well but overpredicts clouds, especially in the upper troposphere. The evaluation also shows that the ARM surface fluxes can have noticeable errors in summertime.

Theoretical analysis reveals that buoyancy damping is sensitive to spatial smoothers in two-dimensional (2D) CRMs, but not in 3D ones. With this theoretical analysis and the ARM cloud observations as background, 2D and 3D simulations are compared, showing that the 2D CRM has not only rapid fluctuations in surface precipitation but also spurious dehumidification (or a decrease in cloud amount). The present study suggests that the rapid precipitation fluctuation and spurious dehumidification be attributed to the sensitivity of buoyancy damping to dimensionality.

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