Two- and three-dimensional simulations of cloud systems for the period of 1–7 September 1974 in phase III of the Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) are performed using the approach discussed in Part I of this paper. The aim is to reproduce cloud systems over the GATE B-scale sounding array. Comparison is presented between three experiments driven by the same large-scale conditions: (i) a fully three-dimensional experiment, (ii) a two-dimensional experiment that is an east–west section of the three-dimensional case, and (iii) a high-resolution version of the two-dimensional experiment. Differences between two- and three-dimensional frameworks and those related to spatial resolution are analyzed. The three-dimensional experiment produced a qualitatively realistic organization of convection: nonsquall clusters, a squall line, and scattered convection and transitions between regimes were simulated. The two-dimensional experiments produced convective organization similar to that discussed in Part I. The thermodynamic fields evolved very similarly in all three experiments, although differences between model fields and observations did occur. When averaged over a few hours, surface sensible and latent heat fluxes and surface precipitation evolved very similarly in all three experiments and evaluated well against observations. Model resolution had some effect on the upper-troposheric cloud cover and consequently on the upper-tropospheric temperature tendency due to radiative flux divergence. When compared with the fully three-dimensional results, the two-dimensional simulations produced a much higher temporal variability of domain-averaged quantities. The results support the notion that, as long as high-frequency temporal variability is not of primary importance, low-resolution two-dimensional simulations can be used as realizations of tropical cloud systems in the climate problem and for improving and/or testing cloud parameterizations for large-scale models.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 16, 1997