Evaluation of cloud microphysics in JMA-NHM simulations using bin or bulk microphysical schemes through comparison with cloud radar observations

Takamichi Iguchi, Teruyuki Nakajima, Alexander P. Khain, Kazuo Saito, Toshihiko Takemura, Hajime Okamoto, Tomoaki Nishizawa, Wei Kuo Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical weather prediction (NWP) simulations using the Japan Meteorological Agency Nonhydrostatic Model (JMA-NHM) are conducted for three precipitation events observed by shipborne or spaceborne W-band cloud radars. Spectral bin and single-moment bulk cloud microphysics schemes are employed separately for an intercomparative study. A radar product simulator that is compatible with both microphysics schemes is developed to enable a direct comparison between simulation and observation with respect to the equivalent radar reflectivity factor Ze, Doppler velocity (DV), and path-integrated attenuation (PIA). In general, the bin model simulation shows better agreement with the observed data than the bulk model simulation. The correction of the terminal fall velocities of snowflakes using those of hail further improves the result of the bin model simulation. The results indicate that there are substantial uncertainties in the mass-size and size-terminal fall velocity relations of snowflakes or in the calculation of terminal fall velocity of snow aloft. For the bulk microphysics, the overestimation of Ze is observed as a result of a significant predominance of snow over cloud ice due to substantial deposition growth directly to snow. The DV comparison shows that a correction for the fall velocity of hydrometeors considering a change of particle size should be introduced even in single-moment bulk cloud microphysics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2566-2586
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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