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Large-scale length and time scales for use with stochastic convective parameterization

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Plant, R. S. and Keane, R. J. (2011) Large-scale length and time scales for use with stochastic convective parameterization. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138 (666). pp. 1150-1164. ISSN 1477-870X

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj.992

Abstract/Summary

Many numerical models for weather prediction and climate studies are run at resolutions that are too coarse to resolve convection explicitly, but too fine to justify the local equilibrium assumed by conventional convective parameterizations. The Plant-Craig (PC) stochastic convective parameterization scheme, developed in this paper, solves this problem by removing the assumption that a given grid-scale situation must always produce the same sub-grid-scale convective response. Instead, for each timestep and gridpoint, one of the many possible convective responses consistent with the large-scale situation is randomly selected. The scheme requires as input the large-scale state as opposed to the instantaneous grid-scale state, but must nonetheless be able to account for genuine variations in the largescale situation. Here we investigate the behaviour of the PC scheme in three-dimensional simulations of radiative-convective equilibrium, demonstrating in particular that the necessary space-time averaging required to produce a good representation of the input large-scale state is not in conflict with the requirement to capture large-scale variations. The resulting equilibrium profiles agree well with those obtained from established deterministic schemes, and with corresponding cloud-resolving model simulations. Unlike the conventional schemes the statistics for mass flux and rainfall variability from the PC scheme also agree well with relevant theory and vary appropriately with spatial scale. The scheme is further shown to adapt automatically to changes in grid length and in forcing strength.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:24795
Uncontrolled Keywords:stochastic parameterization; convection; ensemble averaging
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society

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