23 October 2018 The challenges of representing vertical motion in numerical models
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Even though vertical motion is resolved within convection-permitting models, recent studies have demonstrated significant departures in predicted storm updrafts and downdrafts when compared with Doppler observations of the same events. Several previous studies have attributed these departures to shortfalls in the representation of microphysical processes, in particular those pertaining to ice processes. Others have suggested that our inabilities to properly represent processes such as entrainment are responsible. Wrapped up in these issues are aspects such as the model grid resolution, as well as accuracy of models to correctly simulate the environmental conditions. Four primary terms comprise the vertical momentum equation: advection, pressure gradient forcing, thermodynamics and turbulence. Microphysical processes including their impacts on latent heating and their contributions to condensate loading strongly impact the thermodynamic term. The focus of this study is on the thermodynamic contributions to vertical motion, the shortfalls that arise when modeling this term, and the observations that might be made to improve the representation of those thermodynamical processes driving convective updrafts and downdrafts.
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Susan C. van den Heever, Leah D. Grant, Graeme L. Stephens, Ziad S Haddad, Rachel L. Storer, Ousmane O. Sy, and Derek J. Posselt "The challenges of representing vertical motion in numerical models", Proc. SPIE 10782, Remote Sensing and Modeling of the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Interactions VII, 1078204 (23 October 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2501584; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2501584

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