Optimizing EDMF parameterization for stratocumulus-topped boundary layer

Monday, 15 December 2014
Christopher R Jones1, Christopher Stephen Bretherton1, Marcin L Witek2 and Kay Suselj3, (1)University of Washington Seattle Campus, Seattle, WA, United States, (2)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
We present progress in the development of an Eddy Diffusion / Mass Flux (EDMF) turbulence parameterization, with the goal of improving the representation of the cloudy boundary layer in NCEP's Global Forecast System (GFS), as part of a multi-institution Climate Process Team (CPT). Current GFS versions substantially under-predict cloud amount and cloud radiative impact over much of the globe, leading to large biases in the surface and top of atmosphere energy budgets. As part of the effort to correct these biases, the CPT is developing a new EDMF turbulence scheme for GFS, in which local turbulent mixing is represented by an eddy diffusion term while nonlocal shallow convection is represented by a mass flux term. The sum of both contributions provides the total turbulent flux. Our goal is for this scheme to more skillfully simulate cloud radiative properties without negatively impacting other measures of weather forecast skill.

One particular challenge faced by an EDMF parameterization is to be able to handle stratocumulus regimes as well as shallow cumulus regimes. In order to isolate the behavior of the proposed EDMF parameterization and aid in its further development, we have implemented the scheme in a portable MATLAB single column model (SCM). We use this SCM framework to optimize the simulation of stratocumulus cloud top entrainment and boundary layer decoupling.