Homogeneity of the subgrid-scale turbulent mixing in large-eddy simulation of shallow convection

AMS Citation:
Jarecka, D., W. W. Grabowski, H. Morrison, and H. Pawlowska, 2013: Homogeneity of the subgrid-scale turbulent mixing in large-eddy simulation of shallow convection. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 70, 2751-2767, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-13-042.1.
Resource Type:article
Title:Homogeneity of the subgrid-scale turbulent mixing in large-eddy simulation of shallow convection
Abstract: This paper presents an approach to locally predict homogeneity of the subgrid-scale turbulent mixing in large-eddy simulation of shallow clouds applying double-moment warm-rain microphysics. The homogeneity of subgrid-scale mixing refers to the partitioning of the cloud water evaporation due to parameterized entrainment between changes of the mean droplet radius and changes of the mean droplet concentration. Homogeneous and extremely inhomogeneous mixing represent two limits of possible scenarios, where the droplet concentration and the mean droplet radius remains unchanged during the microphysical adjustment, respectively. To predict the subgrid-scale mixing scenario, the double-moment microphysics scheme is merged with the approach to delay droplet evaporation resulting from entrainment. Details of the new scheme and its application in the Barbados Oceanographic and Meteorological Experiment (BOMEX) shallow convection case are discussed. The simulated homogeneity of mixing varies significantly inside small convective clouds, from close to homogeneous to close to extremely inhomogeneous. The mean mixing characteristics become more homogeneous with height, reflecting increases of the mean droplet size and the mean turbulence intensity, both favoring homogeneous mixing. Model results are consistent with microphysical effects of entrainment and mixing deduced from field observations. Mixing close to homogeneous is predicted in volumes with the highest liquid water content (LWC) and strongest updraft at a given height, whereas mixing in strongly diluted volumes is typically close to extremely inhomogeneous. The simulated homogeneity of mixing has a small impact on mean microphysical characteristics. This result agrees with the previous study applying prescribed mixing scenarios and can be explained by the high humidity of the clear air involved in the subgrid-scale mixing.
Subject(s):Entrainment, Cloud microphysics, Cloud parameterizations, Cumulus clouds, Large eddy simulations, Subgrid-scale processes
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7mw2j2z
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JAS-D-13-042.1
  • D. Jarecka
  • Wojciech Grabowski - NCAR/UCAR
  • Hugh Morrison - NCAR/UCAR
  • H. Pawlowska
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