IMPACT OF VARIABLE-RESOLUTION MESHES ON REGIONAL CLIMATE SIMULATIONS
Abstract:The Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) is currently being used for seasonal-scale simulations on globally-uniform and regionally-refined meshes. Our ongoing research aims at analyzing simulations of tropical convective activity and tropical cyclone development during one hurricane season over the North Atlantic Ocean, contrasting statistics obtained with a variable-resolution mesh against those obtained with a quasi-uniform mesh. Analyses focus on the spatial distribution, frequency, and intensity of convective and grid-scale precipitations, and their relative contributions to the total precipitation as a function of the horizontal scale.
Multi-month simulations initialized on May 1st 2005 using ERA-Interim re-analyses indicate that MPAS performs satisfactorily as a regional climate model for different combinations of horizontal resolutions and transitions between the coarse and refined meshes. Results highlight seamless transitions for convection, cloud microphysics, radiation, and land-surface processes between the quasi-uniform and locally- refined meshes, despite the fact that the physics parameterizations were not developed for variable resolution meshes.
Our goal of analyzing the performance of MPAS is twofold. First, we want to establish that MPAS can be successfully used as a regional climate model, bypassing the need for nesting and nudging techniques at the edges of the computational domain as done in traditional regional climate modeling. Second, we want to assess the performance of our convective and cloud microphysics parameterizations as the horizontal resolution varies between the lower-resolution quasi-uniform and higher-resolution locally-refined areas of the global domain.