Late Summer Arctic clouds in the ECMWF forecast model: an evaluation of cloud parameterization scheme
2016 (English)In: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, ISSN 0035-9009, E-ISSN 1477-870X, Vol. 142, no 694, 387-400 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Mixed-phase clouds are an integral part of the Arctic climate system, for precipitation and for their interactions with radiation and thermodynamics. Mixed-phase processes are often poorly represented in global models and many use an empirically based diagnostic partition between the liquid and ice phases that is dependent solely on temperature. However, increasingly more complex microphysical parametrizations are being implemented allowing a more physical representation of mixed-phase clouds.
This study uses in situ observations from the Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS) field campaign in the central Arctic to assess the impact of a change from a diagnostic to a prognostic parametrization of mixed-phase clouds and increased vertical resolution in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Integrated Forecast System (IFS). The newer cloud scheme improves the representation of the vertical structure of mixed-phase clouds, with supercooled liquid water at cloud top and ice precipitating below, improved further with higher vertical resolution. Increased supercooled liquid water and decreased ice content are both in closer agreement with observations. However, these changes do not result in any substantial improvement in surface radiation, and a warm and moist bias in the lowest part of the atmosphere remains. Both schemes also fail to capture the transitions from overcast to cloud-free conditions. Moreover, whereas the observed cloud layer is frequently decoupled from the surface, the modelled clouds remain coupled to the surface most of the time. The changes implemented to the cloud scheme are an important step forward in improving the representation of Arctic clouds, but improvements in other aspects such as boundary-layer turbulence, cloud radiative properties, sensitivity to low aerosol concentrations and representation of the sea-ice surface may also need to be addressed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 142, no 694, 387-400 p.
IFS model, cloud scheme, evaluation, mixed-phase clouds, Arctic, cloud–surface interactions
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124362DOI: 10.1002/qj.2658ISI: 000369978300031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-124362DiVA: diva2:885551