Improved simulation of Florida summer convection using the PLACE land model and a 1.5-order turbulence parameterization coupled to the Penn State-NCAR mesoscale model

B. H. Lynn, D. R. Stauffer, P. J. Wetzel, W. K. Tao, P. Alpert, N. Perlin, R. David Baker, R. Muñoz, A. Boone, Y. Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three major modifications to the treatment of land surface processes in the Pennsylvania State University-National Center for Atmospheric Research mesoscale model MM5, are tested in a matrix of eight model experiments. Paired together in each dimension of the matrix are versions of the code with and without one of the changes. The three changes involve 1) a sophisticated land surface model [the Parameterization for Land-Atmosphere Convective Exchange (PLACE)]. 2) the soil moisture and temperature initial conditions derived from running PLACE offline, and 3) a 1.5-order turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) turbulence boundary layer. The code without changes, defined as the control code, uses the most widely applied land surface, soil initialization, and boundary layer options found in the current MM5 community code. As an initial test of these modifications, a case was chosen in which they should have their greatest effect: conditions where heterogeneous surface forcing dominates over dynamic processes. The case chosen is one with widespread summertime moist convection, during the Convection and Precipitation Electrification Experiment (CaPE) in the middle of the Florida peninsula. Of the eight runs, the code with all three changes (labeled TKE-PLACE) demonstrates the best overall skill in terms of biases of the surface variables, rainfall, and percent and root-mean-square error of cloud cover fraction for this case. An early, isolated convective storm that formed near the east coast, at the downwind edge of a region of anomalous wet soil, and within the dense cluster of CaPE mesoscale observation stations, is correctly simulated only by TKE-PLACE. It does not develop in any of the other seven runs. A factor separation analysis shows that a successful simulation requires the inclusion of the more sophisticated land surface model, realistic initial soil moisture and temperature, and the higher-order closure of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) in order to better represent the effect of joint and synergistic (nonlinear) contributions from the land surface and PBL on the moist convection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1461
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume129
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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