Convectively induced secondary circulations in fine-grid Mesoscale numerical weather prediction models

AMS Citation:
Ching, J., R. Rotunno, M. A. Lemone, A. Martilli, B. Kosovic, P. A. Jimenez, and J. Dudhia, 2014: Convectively induced secondary circulations in fine-grid Mesoscale numerical weather prediction models. Monthly Weather Review, 142, 3284-3302, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-13-00318.1.
Date:2014-09-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Convectively induced secondary circulations in fine-grid Mesoscale numerical weather prediction models
Abstract: Mesoscale numerical weather prediction models using fine-grid [O(1) km] meshes for weather forecasting, environmental assessment, and other applications capture aspects of larger-than-grid-mesh size, convectively induced secondary circulations (CISCs) such as cells and rolls that occur in the convective planetary boundary layer (PBL). However, 1-km grid spacing is too large for the simulation of the interaction of CISCs with smaller-scale turbulence. The existence of CISCs also violates the neglect of horizontal gradients of turbulent quantities in current PBL schemes. Both aspects—poorly resolved CISCs and a violation of the assumptions behind PBL schemes—are examples of what occurs in Wyngaard’s “terra incognita,” where horizontal grid spacing is comparable to the scale of the simulated motions. Thus, model CISCs (M-CISCs) cannot be simulated reliably. This paper describes how the superadiabatic layer in the lower convective PBL together with increased horizontal resolution allow the critical Rayleigh number to be exceeded and thus allow generation of M-CISCs like those in nature; and how the M-CISCs eventually neutralize the virtual temperature stratification, lowering the Rayleigh number and stopping their growth. Two options for removing M-CISCs while retaining their fluxes are 1) introducing nonlocal closure schemes for more effective removal of heat from the surface and 2) restricting the effective Rayleigh number to remain subcritical. It is demonstrated that CISCs are correctly handled by large-eddy simulation (LES) and thus may provide a way to improve representation of them or their effects. For some applications, it may suffice to allow M-CISCs to develop, but account for their shortcomings during interpretation.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2014 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or amspubs@ametsoc.org. Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7v40w6q
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/MWR-D-13-00318.1
Author(s):
  • J. Ching
  • Richard Rotunno - NCAR/UCAR
  • Margaret Lemone - NCAR/UCAR
  • A. Martilli
  • Branko Kosovic - NCAR/UCAR
  • Pedro Jimenez - NCAR/UCAR
  • Jimy Dudhia - NCAR/UCAR
  • Random Profile

    PROJ SCIENTIST III

    Recent & Upcoming Visitors