Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-322
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-322
 
01 Jun 2022
01 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Impacts of combined microphysical and land-surface uncertainties on convective clouds and precipitation

Christian Barthlott1, Amirmahdi Zarboo1, Takumi Matsunobu2, and Christian Keil2 Christian Barthlott et al.
  • 1Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-TRO), Department Troposphere Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2Meteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

Abstract. To reduce the underdispersion of precipitation in convective-scale ensemble prediction systems, we investigate the relevance of microphysical and land-surface uncertainties for convective-scale predictability. We use three different initial soil moisture fields and study the response of convective precipitation to varying cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations and different shape parameters of the cloud droplet size distribution (CDSD) by applying a novel combined-perturbation strategy. Using the new icosahedral nonhydrostatic ICON model, we construct a 60 member ensemble for cases with summertime convection under weak and strong synoptic-scale forcing over central Europe. We find a systematic positive soil moisture–precipitation feedback for all cases, regardless of the type of synoptic forcing and a stronger response of precipitation to different CCN concentrations and shape parameters for weak forcing than for strong forcing. While the days with weak forcing show a systematic decrease in precipitation with increasing aerosol loading, days with strong forcing also show nonsystematic responses for some values of the shape parameters. The large magnitude of precipitation deviations compared to a reference simulation ranging between −23 % to +18 % demonstrates that the uncertainties investigated here and, in particular, their collective effect are highly relevant for quantitative precipitation forecasting of summertime convection in central Europe. A rain water budget analysis is used to identify the dominating source and sink terms and their response to the uncertainties applied in this study. Results also show a dominating cold-rain process for all cases and a strong, but mostly non systematic impact on the release of latent heat which is considered to be the prime mechanism for the upscale growth of small errors affecting the predictability of convective systems. The combined ensemble spread when accounting for all three uncertainties is generally larger for weak forcing cases and lies in the same range than the ones from an operational convective-scale ensemble prediction system determined in previous studies. This indicates that the combination of different perturbations used in our study may be suitable for ensemble forecasting and that this method should be evaluated against other sources of uncertainty.

Christian Barthlott et al.

Status: open (until 13 Jul 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-322', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 Jun 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-322', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 Jun 2022 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on acp-2022-322', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Jun 2022 reply

Christian Barthlott et al.

Christian Barthlott et al.

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Short summary
The relevance of microphysical and land-surface uncertainties for convective-scale predictability is evaluated with a combined-perturbation strategy in realistic convection-resolving simulations. We find a large ensemble spread which demonstrates that the uncertainties investigated here and, in particular, their collective effect are highly relevant for quantitative precipitation forecasting of summertime convection in central Europe.
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