On the land-ocean contrast of tropical convection and microphysics statistics derived from trmm satellite signals and global storm-resolving models

Toshi Matsui, Jiun Dar Chern, Wei Kuo Tao, Stephen Lang, Masaki Satoh, Tempei Hashino, Takuji Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A 14-yr climatology of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) collocated multisensor signal statistics reveals a distinct land-ocean contrast as well as geographical variability of precipitation type, intensity, and microphysics. Microphysics information inferred from the TRMMPrecipitation Radar and Microwave Imager show a large land-ocean contrast for the deep category, suggesting continental convective vigor. Over land, TRMMshows higher echo-top heights and larger maximum echoes, suggesting taller storms and more intense precipitation, as well as larger microwave scattering, suggesting the presence ofmore/larger frozen convective hydrometeors. This strong land-ocean contrast in deep convection is invariant over seasonal andmultiyear time scales. Consequently, relatively short-term simulations from two global storm-resolving models can be evaluated in terms of their land-ocean statistics using the TRMM Triple-Sensor Three-Step Evaluation Framework via a satellite simulator. The models evaluated are the NASA Multiscale Modeling Framework (MMF) and the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Cloud Atmospheric Model (NICAM). While both simulations can represent convective land-ocean contrasts in warm precipitation to some extent, near-surface conditions over land are relatively moister in NICAM than MMF, which appears to be the key driver in the divergent warm precipitation results between the two models. Both theMMF and NICAM produced similar frequencies of large CAPE between land and ocean. The dry MMF boundary layer enhanced microwave scattering signals over land, but only NICAM had an enhanced deep convection frequency over land. Neither model could reproduce a realistic land-ocean contrast in deep convective precipitation microphysics. A realistic contrast between land and ocean remains an issue in global storm-resolving modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1445
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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