Assessing the performance of a prognostic and a diagnostic cloud scheme using single column model simulations of TWP-ICE

Charmaine Franklin, Christian Jakob, Martin Dix, Alain Protat, Greg Roff

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Single column model simulations using the UK Met Office Unified Model, as used in the Australian Community Climate Earth System Simulator, are presented for the Tropical Warm PoolInternational Cloud Experiment (TWPICE) field study. Two formulations for the representation of clouds are compared with the extensive observations taken during the campaign, giving insight into the ability of the model to simulate tropical cloud systems. During the active monsoon phase the modelled cloud cover has a stronger dependence on relative humidity than the observations. Observed ice cloud properties during the suppressed monsoon period show that the ice water content is significantly underestimated in the simulations. The profiles of modelled ice fall speeds are faster than those observed in the levels above 12 km, implying that the observations have smaller sized particles in larger concentrations than the models. Both simulations show similar errors in the diurnal cycle of relative humidity during the active monsoon phase, suggesting that the error is less sensitive to the choice of cloud scheme and rather is driven by the convection scheme. However, during the times of suppressed convection the relative humidity error is different between the simulations, with congestus convection drying the environment too much, particularly in the prognostic cloud-scheme simulation. This result shows that the choice of cloud scheme and the way that the cloud and convection schemes interact plays a role in the temperature and moisture errors during the suppressed monsoon phase, which will impact the three-dimensional model simulations of tropical variability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734 - 754
Number of pages21
JournalQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Issue number664
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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