Cloud-system-resolving model simulations of tropical cloud systems observed during the tropical warm pool-international cloud experiment

Kathrin Wapler, Todd P Lane, Peter T May, Christian Jakob, Michael John Manton, Steven Thomas Siems

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Nested cloud system resolving model simulations of tropical convective clouds observed during the recent Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE) are conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The WRF model is configured with a highest resolving domain that uses 1.3 km grid spacing and is centered over Darwin, Australia. The performance of the model in simulating two different convective regimes observed during TWPICE is considered. The first regime is characteristic of the active monsoon, which features widespread cloud cover that is similar to maritime convection. The second regime is a monsoon break, which contains intense localized systems that are representative of diurnally forced continental convection. Many aspects of the model performance are considered, including their sensitivity to physical parameterizations and initialization time, and the spatial statistics of rainfall accumulations and the rain rate distribution. While the simulations highlight many challenges and difficulties in correctly modeling the convection in the two regimes, they show that provided the mesoscale environment is reproduced adequately by the model, the statistics of the simulated rainfall agrees reasonably well with the observations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55 - 73
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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