Arctic Storms in a Regionally Refined Atmospheric General Circulation Model

Friday, 19 December 2014: 4:30 PM
Erika L Roesler, Mark Taylor, Mark Boslough and Sharon Sullivan, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, United States
Regional refinement in an atmospheric general circulation model is a new tool in atmospheric modeling. A regional high-resolution solution can be obtained without the computational cost of running a global high-resolution simulation as global climate models have increasing ability to resolve smaller spatial scales. Previous work has shown high-resolution simulations, i.e. 1/8 degree, and variable resolution utilities have resolved more fine-scale structure and mesoscale storms in the atmosphere than their low-resolution counterparts. We will describe an experiment designed to identify and study Arctic storms at two model resolutions. We used the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5, with the Spectral Element dynamical core at 1/8-degree and 1 degree horizontal resolutions to simulate the climatological year of 1850. Storms were detected using a low-pressure minima and vorticity maxima - finding algorithm. It was found the high-resolution 1/8-degree simulation had more storms in the Northern Hemisphere than the low-resolution 1-degree simulation. A variable resolution simulation with a global low resolution of 1-degree and a high-resolution refined region of 1/8 degree over a region in the Arctic is planned. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. SAND NO. 2014-16460A