The Weather Research and Forecasting Model with Aerosol-Cloud Interactions (WRF-ACI): Development, evaluation, and initial application

TitleThe Weather Research and Forecasting Model with Aerosol-Cloud Interactions (WRF-ACI): Development, evaluation, and initial application
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGlotfelty T., Alapaty K., He J., Hawbecker P., Song X.L, Zhang G.
Volume147
Pagination1491-1511
Date Published2019/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0027-0644
Accession NumberWOS:000466742900001
Keywordsatmospheric model; convection; cumulus; Data assimilation; ice nucleation; implementation; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; microphysics parameterization; part i; resolution; sensitivity; stratiform precipitation
Abstract

The Weather Research and Forecasting Model with Aerosol-Cloud Interactions (WRF-ACI) is developed for studying aerosol effects on gridscale and subgrid-scale clouds using common aerosol activation and ice nucleation formulations and double-moment cloud microphysics in a scale-aware subgrid-scale parameterization scheme. Comparisons of both the standard WRF and WRF-ACI models' results for a summer season against satellite and reanalysis estimates show that the WRF-ACI system improves the simulation of cloud liquid and ice water paths. Correlation coefficients for nearly all evaluated parameters are improved, while other variables show slight degradation. Results indicate a strong cloud lifetime effect from current climatological aerosols increasing domain average cloud liquid water path and reducing domain average precipitation as compared to a simulation with aerosols reduced by 90%. Increased cloud-top heights indicate a thermodynamic invigoration effect, but the impact of thermodynamic invigoration on precipitation is overwhelmed by the cloud lifetime effect. A combination of cloud lifetime and cloud albedo effects increases domain average shortwave cloud forcing by similar to 3.0W m(-2). Subgrid-scale clouds experience a stronger response to aerosol levels, while gridscale clouds are subject to thermodynamic feedbacks because of the design of the WRF modeling framework. The magnitude of aerosol indirect effects is shown to be sensitive to the choice of autoconversion parameterization used in both the gridscale and subgrid-scale cloud microphysics, but spatial patterns remain qualitatively similar. These results indicate that the WRF-ACI model provides the community with a computationally efficient tool for exploring aerosol-cloud interactions.

DOI10.1175/mwr-d-18-0267.1
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