Articles | Volume 15, issue 5
Research article
10 Mar 2015
Research article |  | 10 Mar 2015

Analysis of the ozone profile specifications in the WRF-ARW model and their impact on the simulation of direct solar radiation

A. Montornès, B. Codina, and J. W. Zack

Abstract. Although ozone is an atmospheric gas with high spatial and temporal variability, mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) models simplify the specification of ozone concentrations used in their shortwave schemes by using a few ozone profiles. In this paper, a two-part study is presented: (i) an evaluation of the quality of the ozone profiles provided for use with the shortwave schemes in the Advanced Research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model and (ii) an assessment of the impact of deficiencies in those profiles on the performance of model simulations of direct solar radiation. The first part compares simplified data sets used to specify the total ozone column in six schemes (i.e., Goddard, New Goddard, RRTMG, CAM, GFDL and Fu–Liou–Gu) with the Multi-Sensor Reanalysis data set during the period 1979–2008 examining the latitudinal, longitudinal and seasonal limitations in the ozone profile specifications of each parameterization. The results indicate that the maximum deviations are over the poles and show prominent longitudinal patterns in the departures due to the lack of representation of the patterns associated with the Brewer–Dobson circulation and the quasi-stationary features forced by the land–sea distribution, respectively. In the second part, the bias in the simulated direct solar radiation due to these deviations from the simplified spatial and temporal representation of the ozone distribution is analyzed for the New Goddard and CAM schemes using the Beer–Lambert–Bouguer law and for the GFDL using empirical equations. For radiative applications those simplifications introduce spatial and temporal biases with near-zero departures over the tropics throughout the year and increasing poleward with a maximum in the high middle latitudes during the winter of each hemisphere.

Final-revised paper