An Explicit Simulation of Tropical Cyclones with a Triply Nested Movable Mesh Primitive Equation Model: TCM3. Part II: Model Refinements and Sensitivity to Cloud Microphysics Parameterization

Wang, Yuqing
December 2002
Monthly Weather Review;Dec2002, Vol. 130 Issue 12, p3022
Academic Journal
It has been long known that cloud microphysics can have a significant impact on the simulations of precipitation; however, there have been few studies so far that have investigated the effect of cloud microphysics on tropical cyclones. In the most advanced simulation of tropical cyclones by numerical models, the use of explicit cloud microphysics becomes more and more attractive with cumulus parameterization bypassed at very high resolutions. In this study, the sensitivity of the simulated tropical cyclone structure and intensity to the choice and details of cloud microphysics parameterization is investigated using the triply nested movable mesh tropical cyclone model TCM3 described in Part I but with several refinements. Three different cloud microphysics parameterization schemes are tested, including the warm-rain-only cloud microphysics scheme (WMRN) and two mixed-icephase cloud microphysics schemes, one of which has three ice species (cloud ice-snow-graupel; CTRL) while the other has hail instead of graupel (HAIL). It is shown that, although the cloud structures of the simulated tropical cyclone can be quite different with different cloud microphysics schemes, intensification rate and final intensity are not very sensitive to the details of the cloud microphysics parameterizations. This occurs because all of the schemes produce similar vertical heating profiles and similar levels of rainbands, stratiform clouds, and downdrafts. The latter are found to be prohibitive factors to tropical cyclone intensification and intensity. Both evaporation of rain and melting of snow and graupel are responsible for the generation of downdrafts and rainbands. This is demonstrated using two extra experiments in which the evaporation of rain and melting of snow and graupel are removed from WMRN or CTRL experiments. In these two extreme cases, neither significant rainbands nor downdrafts were generated. As a result, the storm developed much more rapidly and reached an...


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