Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Model evaluation paper
31 May 2017
Model evaluation paper |  | 31 May 2017

Continuous high-resolution midlatitude-belt simulations for July–August 2013 with WRF

Thomas Schwitalla, Hans-Stefan Bauer, Volker Wulfmeyer, and Kirsten Warrach-Sagi

Abstract. Increasing computational resources and the demands of impact modelers, stake holders, and society envision seasonal and climate simulations with the convection-permitting resolution. So far such a resolution is only achieved with a limited-area model whose results are impacted by zonal and meridional boundaries. Here, we present the setup of a latitude-belt domain that reduces disturbances originating from the western and eastern boundaries and therefore allows for studying the impact of model resolution and physical parameterization. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled to the NOAH land–surface model was operated during July and August 2013 at two different horizontal resolutions, namely 0.03 (HIRES) and 0.12° (LOWRES). Both simulations were forced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational analysis data at the northern and southern domain boundaries, and the high-resolution Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) data at the sea surface.

The simulations are compared to the operational ECMWF analysis for the representation of large-scale features. To analyze the simulated precipitation, the operational ECMWF forecast, the CPC MORPHing (CMORPH), and the ENSEMBLES gridded observation precipitation data set (E-OBS) were used as references.

Analyzing pressure, geopotential height, wind, and temperature fields as well as precipitation revealed (1) a benefit from the higher resolution concerning the reduction of monthly biases, root mean square error, and an improved Pearson skill score, and (2) deficiencies in the physical parameterizations leading to notable biases in distinct regions like the polar Atlantic for the LOWRES simulation, the North Pacific, and Inner Mongolia for both resolutions.

In summary, the application of a latitude belt on a convection-permitting resolution shows promising results that are beneficial for future seasonal forecasting.

Short summary
Due to computational constraints, extended-range forecasts on the convection-permitting (CP) scale are often performed using a limited-area model. To overcome disturbances by lateral boundary conditions, a CP latitude belt simulation in the Northern Hemisphere was performed for July and August 2013. This approach allows for the study of resolution and parameterization impacts. The results demonstrate an improved representation of the general circulation and precipitation patterns.