An Evaluation of Size-Resolved Cloud Microphysics Scheme Numerics for Use with...

Lee, H., A. M. Fridlind, and A. S. Ackerman (2021), An Evaluation of Size-Resolved Cloud Microphysics Scheme Numerics for Use with Radar Observations. Part II: Condensation and Evaporation, J. Atmos. Sci., 78, 1629-1645, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-20-0213.1.

Accurate numerical modeling of clouds and precipitation is essential for weather forecasting and climate change research. While size-resolved (bin) cloud microphysics models predict particle size distributions without imposing shapes, results are subject to artificial size distribution broadening owing to numerical diffusion associated with various processes. Whereas Part I of this study addressed collision–coalescence, here we investigate numerical diffusion that occurs in solving condensation and evaporation. In a parcel model framework, all of the numerical schemes examined converge to one solution of condensation and evaporation as the mass grid is refined, and the advection-based schemes are recommended over the reassigning schemes. Including Eulerian vertical advection in a column limits the convergence to some extent, but that limitation occurs at a sufficiently fine mass grid, and the number of iterations in solving vertical advection should be minimized to reduce numerical diffusion. Insubstantial numerical diffusion in solving condensation can be amplified if collision–coalescence is also active, which in turn can be substantially diminished if turbulence effects on collision are incorporated. Large-eddy simulations of a drizzling stratocumulus field reveal that changes in moments of Doppler spectra obtained using different mass grids are consistent with those obtained from the simplified framework, and that spectral moments obtained using a mass grid designed to effectively reduce numerical diffusion are generally closer to observations. Notable differences between the simulations and observations still exist, and our results suggest a need to consider whether factors other than numerical diffusion in the fundamental process schemes employed can cause such differences.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)