Sensitivity of the PBL and precipitation in 12-day simulations of warm-season convection using different land surface models and soil wetness conditions

AMS Citation:
Trier, S. B., F. Chen, K. W. Manning, M. A. LeMone, and C. A. Davis, 2008: Sensitivity of the PBL and precipitation in 12-day simulations of warm-season convection using different land surface models and soil wetness conditions. Monthly Weather Review, 136, 2321-2343, doi:10.1175/2007MWR2289.1.
Date:2008-07-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Sensitivity of the PBL and precipitation in 12-day simulations of warm-season convection using different land surface models and soil wetness conditions
Abstract: A coupled land surface-atmospheric model that permits grid-resolved deep convection is used to examine linkages between land surface conditions, the planetary boundary layer (PBL), and precipitation during a 12-day warm-season period over the central United States. The period of study (9-21 June 2002) coincided with an extensive dry soil moisture anomaly over the western United States and adjacent high plains and wetter-than-normal soil conditions over parts of the Midwest. A range of possible atmospheric responses to soil wetness is diagnosed from a set of simulations that use land surface models (LSMs) of varying sophistication and initial land surface conditions of varying resolution and specificity to the period of study. Results suggest that the choice of LSM [Noah or the less sophisticated simple slab soil model (SLAB)] significantly influences the diurnal cycle of near-surface potential temperature and water vapor mixing ratio. The initial soil wetness also has a major impact on these thermodynamic variables, particularly during and immediately following the most intense phase of daytime surface heating. The soil wetness influences the daytime PBL evolution through both local and upstream surface evaporation and sensible heat fluxes, and through differences in the mesoscale vertical circulation that develops in response to horizontal gradients of the latter. Resulting differences in late afternoon PBL moist static energy and stability near the PBL top are associated with differences in subsequent late afternoon and evening precipitation in locations where the initial soil wetness differs among simulations. In contrast to the initial soil wetness, soil moisture evolution has negligible effects on the mean regional-scale thermodynamic conditions and precipitation during the 12-day period.
Subject(s):sensitivity studies, boundary layer, precipitation, convection, land surface model, soil moisture
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7348mpw
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/2007MWR2289.1
Author(s):
  • Stanley Trier - NCAR/UCAR
  • Fei Chen - NCAR/UCAR
  • Kevin Manning - NCAR/UCAR
  • Margaret LeMone - NCAR/UCAR
  • Christopher Davis - NCAR/UCAR
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