Evaluating the performance of SURFEXv5 as a new land surface scheme for the ALADINcy36 and ALARO-0 models
Abstract. The newly developed land surface scheme SURFEX (SURFace EXternalisée) is implemented into a limited-area numerical weather prediction model running operationally in a number of countries of the ALADIN and HIRLAM consortia. The primary question addressed is the ability of SURFEX to be used as a new land surface scheme and thus assessing its potential use in an operational configuration instead of the original ISBA (Interactions between Soil, Biosphere, and Atmosphere) scheme. The results show that the introduction of SURFEX either shows improvement for or has a neutral impact on the 2 m temperature, 2 m relative humidity and 10 m wind. However, it seems that SURFEX has a tendency to produce higher maximum temperatures at high-elevation stations during winter daytime, which degrades the 2 m temperature scores. In addition, surface radiative and energy fluxes improve compared to observations from the Cabauw tower. The results also show that promising improvements with a demonstrated positive impact on the forecast performance are achieved by introducing the town energy balance (TEB) scheme. It was found that the use of SURFEX has a neutral impact on the precipitation scores. However, the implementation of TEB within SURFEX for a high-resolution run tends to cause rainfall to be locally concentrated, and the total accumulated precipitation obviously decreases during the summer. One of the novel features developed in SURFEX is the availability of a more advanced surface data assimilation using the extended Kalman filter. The results over Belgium show that the forecast scores are similar between the extended Kalman filter and the classical optimal interpolation scheme. Finally, concerning the vertical scores, the introduction of SURFEX either shows improvement for or has a neutral impact in the free atmosphere.