TITLE

Explicit Forecasts of Winter Precipitation Using an Improved Bulk Microphysics Scheme. Part II: Implementation of a New Snow Parameterization

AUTHOR(S)
Thompson, Gregory; Field, Paul R.; Rasmussen, Roy M.; Hall, William D.
PUB. DATE
December 2008
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Dec2008, Vol. 136 Issue 12, p5095
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
A new bulk microphysical parameterization (BMP) has been developed for use with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model or other mesoscale models. As compared with earlier single-moment BMPs, the new scheme incorporates a large number of improvements to both physical processes and computer coding, and it employs many techniques found in far more sophisticated spectral/bin schemes using lookup tables. Unlike any other BMP, the assumed snow size distribution depends on both ice water content and temperature and is represented as a sum of exponential and gamma distributions. Furthermore, snow assumes a nonspherical shape with a bulk density that varies inversely with diameter as found in observations and in contrast to nearly all other BMPs that assume spherical snow with constant density. The new scheme’s snow category was readily modified to match previous research in sensitivity experiments designed to test the sphericity and distribution shape characteristics. From analysis of four idealized sensitivity experiments, it was determined that the sphericity and constant density assumptions play a major role in producing supercooled liquid water whereas the assumed distribution shape plays a lesser, but nonnegligible, role. Further testing using numerous case studies and comparing model results with in situ and other observations confirmed the results of the idealized experiments and are briefly mentioned herein, but more detailed, microphysical comparisons with observations are found in a companion paper in this series (Part III, forthcoming).
ACCESSION #
36092255

 

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