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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-98
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-98
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models 25 May 2020

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models | 25 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Using Radar Observations to Evaluate 3D Radar Echo Structure Simulated by a Global Model

Jingyu Wang1, Jiwen Fan1, Robert A. Houze Jr.2, Stella R. Brodzik2, Kai Zhang1, Guang J. Zhang3, and Po-Lun Ma1 Jingyu Wang et al.
  • 1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354, USA
  • 2University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
  • 3Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Abstract. The Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) developed by the Department of Energy has a goal of addressing challenges in understanding the global water cycle. Success depends on correct simulation of cloud and precipitation elements. However, lack of appropriate evaluation metrics has hindered the accurate representation of these elements in general circulation models. We derive metrics from the three-dimensional data of the ground-based Next generation radar (NEXRAD) network over the U.S. to evaluate both horizontal and vertical structures of precipitation elements. We coarsened the resolution of the radar observations to be consistent with the model resolution and improved the coupling of the Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project Observation Simulator Package (COSP) and E3SM Atmospheric Model Version 1 (EAMv1) to obtain the best possible model output for comparison with the observations. Three warm seasons (2014–2016) of EAMv1 simulations of 3D radar reflectivity features at an hourly scale are evaluated. A general agreement in domain-mean radar reflectivity intensity is found between EAMv1 and NEXRAD below 4 km altitude; however, the model underestimates reflectivity over the central United States, which suggests that the model does not capture the mesoscale convective systems that produce much of precipitation in that region. The shape of the model estimated histogram of subgrid scale reflectivity is improved by correcting the microphysical assumptions in COSP. The model severely underestimates radar reflectivity at upper levels – the simulated echo top height is about 4 km lower than in observations – and this result is not changed by tuning any single physics parameter.

Jingyu Wang et al.

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Jingyu Wang et al.

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Latest update: 19 Oct 2020
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Short summary
We evaluate the E3SM model with 3D radar direct measurements by developing data processing techniques to use high-resolution observations for evaluating the coarse resolution simulation. We have found modeled an improved domain mean reflectivity using the improved radar simulator and severe model underestimations of reflectivity at the high altitudes and echo top height. The data processing techniques and metrics developed are useful for model evaluation globally with satellite 3D radar data.
We evaluate the E3SM model with 3D radar direct measurements by developing data processing...
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