Improved diurnal cycle of precipitation in E3SM with a revised convective triggering function

TitleImproved diurnal cycle of precipitation in E3SM with a revised convective triggering function
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsXie S.C, Wang Y.C, Lin W.Y, Ma H.Y, Tang Q., Tang S.Q, Zheng X., Golaz J.C, Zhang GJ, Zhang M.H
Date Published2019/08
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1942-2466
Accession NumberWOS:000480282800019
Keywordscirculation; climate modeling; climate simulations; community atmosphere model; convection; convective trigger; diurnal cycle of precipitation; E3SM; global precipitation; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; part ii; precipitation; southern great-plains; version 1; vertical structure; warm-season; water-vapor

We revise the convective triggering function in Department of Energy's Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) Atmosphere Model version 1 (EAMv1) by introducing a dynamic constraint on the initiation of convection that emulates the collective dynamical effects to prevent convection from being triggered too frequently and allowing air parcels to launch above the boundary layer to capture nocturnal elevated convection. The former is referred to as the dynamic Convective Available Potential Energy (dCAPE) trigger and the latter as the Unrestricted Launch Level (ULL) trigger. Compared to the original trigger in EAMv1 that initiates convection whenever CAPE is larger than a threshold, the revised trigger substantially improves the simulated diurnal cycle of precipitation over both midlatitude and tropical lands. The nocturnal peak of precipitation and the eastward propagation of convection downstream of the Rockies and over the adjacent Great Plains are much better captured than those in the default model. The overall impact on mean precipitation is minor with some notable improvements over the Indo-Western Pacific, subtropical Pacific and Atlantic, and South America. In general, the dCAPE trigger helps to better capture late afternoon rainfall peak, while ULL is key to capturing nocturnal elevated convection and the eastward propagation of convection. The dCAPE trigger also primarily contributes to the considerable reduction of convective precipitation over subtropical regions and the frequency of light-to-moderate precipitation occurrence. However, no clear improvement is seen in intense convection and the amplitude of diurnal precipitation.

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