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Title: On the Changes in Convection-Allowing WRF Forecasts of MCS Evolution due to Decreases in Model Horizontal and Vertical Grid Spacing. Part I: Changes in Cold Pool Evolution
Abstract The degree of improvement in convective representation in NWP with horizontal grid spacings finer than 3 km remains debatable. While some research suggests subkilometer horizontal grid spacing is needed to resolve details of convective structures, other studies have shown that decreasing grid spacing from 3–4 to 1–2 km offers little additional value for forecasts of deep convection. In addition, few studies exist to show how changes in vertical grid spacing impact thunderstorm forecasts, especially when horizontal grid spacing is simultaneously decreased. The present research investigates how warm-season central U.S. simulated MCS cold pools for 11 observed cases are impacted by decreasing horizontal grid spacing from 3 to 1 km, while increasing the vertical levels from 50 to 100 in WRF runs. The 3-km runs with 100 levels produced the deepest and most negatively buoyant cold pools compared to all other grid spacings since updrafts were more poorly resolved, resulting in a higher flux of rearward-advected frozen hydrometeors, whose melting processes were augmented by the finer vertical grid spacing, which better resolved the melting layer. However, the more predominant signal among all 11 cases was for more expansive cold pools in 1-km runs, where the stronger and more abundant updrafts focused along the MCS leading line supported a larger volume of concentrated rearward hydrometeor advection and resultant latent cooling at lower levels.  more » « less
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Journal Name:
Weather and Forecasting
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1903 to 1923
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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