We would like to thank Anton Beljaars, Martin Miller, and Martin Koehler at ECMWF for their support of this work and Aad van Ulden at KNMI for many useful discussions on the parcel formulation. Two anonymous reviewers helped to improve the quality of the manuscript. We also kindly acknowledge financial support from the EU-funded project EUROCS (Contract Number EVK2-CT-1999-00051).
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