Comparison of bulk and bin warm rain microphysics models using a kinematic framework

AMS Citation:
Morrison, H., and W. W. Grabowski, 2007: Comparison of bulk and bin warm rain microphysics models using a kinematic framework. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 64, 2839-2861, doi:10.1175/JAS3980.
Resource Type:article
Title:Comparison of bulk and bin warm rain microphysics models using a kinematic framework
Abstract: This paper discusses the development and testing of a bulk warm-rain microphysics model that is capable of addressing the impact of atmospheric aerosols on ice-free clouds. Similarly to previous two-moment bulk schemes, this model predicts the mixing ratios and number concentrations of cloud droplets and drizzle/raindrops. The key elements of the model are the relatively sophisticated cloud droplet activation scheme and a comprehensive treatment of the collision-coalescence mechanism. For the latter, three previously published schemes are selected and tested, with a detailed (bin) microphysics model providing the benchmark. The unique aspect of these tests is that they are performed using a two-dimensional prescribed-flow (kinematic) framework, where both advective transport and gravitational sedimentation are included. Two quasi-idealized test cases are used, the first mimicking a single large eddy in a stratocumulus-topped boundary layer and the second representing a single shallow convective cloud. These types of clouds are thought to be the key in the indirect aerosol effect on climate. Two different aerosol loadings are considered for each case, corresponding to either pristine or polluted environments. In general, all three collision-coalescence schemes seem to capture key features of the bin model simulations (e.g., cloud depth, droplet number concentration, cloud water path, effective radius, precipitation rate, etc.) for the polluted and pristine environments, but there are detailed differences. Two of the collision-coalescence schemes require specification of the width of the cloud droplet spectrum, and model results show significant sensitivity to the specification of the width parameter. Sensitivity tests indicate that a one-moment version of the bulk model for drizzle/rain, which predicts rain/drizzle mixing ratio but not number concentration, produces significant errors relative to the bin model.
Subject(s):Aerosols, Cloud microphysics, Convective clouds, Stratiform clouds
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2007 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 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/d7j966kk
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JAS3980
  • Hugh Morrison - NCAR/UCAR
  • Wojciech Grabowski - NCAR/UCAR
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