AbstractA grid-refinement-based method is implemented in a community atmospheric model to improve the representation of convective boundary layer (CBL) turbulence on gray-zone [i.e., ~O(1) km] grids. At this resolution, CBL convection is partially resolved and partially subgrid scale (SGS), such that neither traditional mesoscale planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes nor SGS closures for large-eddy simulations (LESs) are appropriate. The proposed method utilizes two-way interactive nesting to refine the horizontal resolution of the unstable surface layer of the daytime CBL. SGS turbulent mixing in the fine nest and coarse parent grids are parameterized by an LES turbulence closure and a PBL scheme, respectively. The method does not rely on predetermined empirical functions to introduce grid (scale) dependency and in theory works with any PBL scheme. Compared to the stand-alone gray-zone simulation, the proposed approach shows improvements in terms of higher-order statistics, the timing of the onset of resolved convection, and the convective structures. A deficiency of the method exists when the nest domain is limited to the surface layer; the convective structures become gradually contaminated by spurious convection on the parent gray-zone grid. A deeper nest domain alleviates the issue at increased computational costs.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Apr 21, 2018
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