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Modelling convective processes during the suppressed phase of the a Madden-Julian Oscillation: Comparing single-column models with cloud resolving models

Woolnough, S. J., Blossey, P.N., Xu, K.-M., Bechtold, P., Chaboureau, J.-P., Hosomi, T., Iacobellis, S.F., Luo, Y., Petch, J.C., Wong, R. and Xie, S. (2010) Modelling convective processes during the suppressed phase of the a Madden-Julian Oscillation: Comparing single-column models with cloud resolving models. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 136 (647). pp. 333-353. ISSN 1477-870X

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj.568

Abstract/Summary

The role of convective processes in moistening the atmosphere during suppressed periods of the suppressed phase of a Madden-Julian oscillation is investigated in cloud-resolving model (CRM) simulations, and the impact of moistening on the subsequent evolution of convection is assessed as part of a Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Cloud System Study (GCSS) intercomparison project. The ability of single-column model (SCM) versions of a number of state-of-the-art climate and numerical weather prediction models to capture these convective processes is also evaluated. During the suppressed periods, the CRMs are found to simulate a maximum moistening around 3 km, which is associated with a predominance of shallow convection. All SCMs produce adequate amounts of shallow convection during the suppressed periods, comparable to that seen in CRMs, but the relatively drier SCMs have higher precipitation rates than the relatively wetter SCMs and CRMs. The relatively drier SCMs dry, rather than moisten, the lower troposphere below the melting level. During the transition periods, convective processes act to moisten the atmosphere above the level at which mean advection changes from moistening to drying, despite an overall drying effect for the column. The SCMs capture some essence of this moistening at upper levels. A gradual transition from shallow to deep convection is simulated by the CRMs and the wetter SCMs during the transition periods, but the onset of deep convection is delayed in the drier SCMs. This results in lower precipitation rates for these SCMs during the active periods, although much better agreement exists between the models at this time.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:5892
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society

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