Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
Model description paper
10 Feb 2016
Model description paper |  | 10 Feb 2016

LIMA (v1.0): A quasi two-moment microphysical scheme driven by a multimodal population of cloud condensation and ice freezing nuclei

B. Vié, J.-P. Pinty, S. Berthet, and M. Leriche

Abstract. The paper describes the LIMA (Liquid Ice Multiple Aerosols) quasi two-moment microphysical scheme, which relies on the prognostic evolution of an aerosol population, and the careful description of the nucleating properties that enable cloud droplets and pristine ice crystals to form from aerosols. Several modes of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice freezing nuclei (IFN) are considered individually. A special class of partially soluble IFN is also introduced. These "aged" IFN act first as CCN and then as IFN by immersion nucleation at low temperatures.

All the CCN modes are in competition with each other, as expressed by the single equation of maximum supersaturation. The IFN are insoluble aerosols that nucleate ice in several ways (condensation, deposition and immersion freezing) assuming the singular hypothesis. The scheme also includes the homogeneous freezing of cloud droplets, the Hallett–Mossop ice multiplication process and the freezing of haze at very low temperatures.

LIMA assumes that water vapour is in thermodynamic equilibrium with the population of cloud droplets (adjustment to saturation in warm clouds). In ice clouds, the prediction of the number concentration of the pristine ice crystals is used to compute explicit deposition and sublimation rates (leading to free under/supersaturation over ice). The autoconversion, accretion and self-collection processes shape the raindrop spectra. The initiation of the large crystals and aggregates category is the result of the depositional growth of large crystals beyond a critical size. Aggregation and riming are computed explicitly. Heavily rimed crystals (graupel) can experience a dry or wet growth mode. An advanced version of the scheme includes a separate hail category of particles forming and growing exclusively in the wet growth mode. The sedimentation of all particle types is included.

The LIMA scheme is inserted into the Meso-NH cloud-resolving mesoscale model. The flexibility of LIMA is illustrated by two 2-D experiments. The first one highlights the sensitivity of orographic ice clouds to IFN types and IFN concentrations. Then a squall line case discusses the microstructure of a mixed-phase cloud and the impacts of pure CCN and IFN polluting plumes. The experiments show that LIMA responds well to the complex nature of aerosol–cloud interactions, leading to different pathways for cloud and precipitation formation.

Short summary
LIMA, a new quasi two-moment, mixed-phase microphysical scheme, is introduced. LIMA relies on the prognostic evolution of a multimodal aerosol population and the careful description of their nucleating properties that enable cloud droplets and pristine ice to form. This paper describes LIMA and illustrates its ability to represent aerosol-cloud interactions for 2-D idealized simulations of a squall line and orographic cold clouds.