Evaluation of the AROME model's ability to represent ice crystal icing using in situ observations from the HAIC 2015 field campaign

Wurtz, Jean ; Bouniol, Dominique ; Vié, Benoît ; Lac, Christine

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<p align=justify>Since pilots generally avoid intense convective areas, ice crystals icing (ICI) is an aeronautical weather incident that mainly occurs in the anvil of tropical deep convective clouds. Samples of favorable conditions for the occurrence of ICI and data from the High Altitude Ice Crystals (HAIC) 2015 field campaign in French Guiana are investigated and compared with simulations of the French operational mesoscale forecast system Application of Research to Operations at Mesoscales (AROME). To this end, a contextualization of convective systems into convective, stratiform, and cirriform regions is employed for both observations and AROME. General features of the microphysics of deep tropical convective systems are identified. The number concentration of crystals larger than 125 ?m and total water content (TWC) are strongly correlated at each temperature level, and both decrease with increasing distance from convective cores. AROME can reproduce the general behavior of the observed microphysics, especially TWC, but seems unable to simulate extreme ICI events. Reasons are sought in the assumptions performed in the microphysical scheme ICE3, and guidelines are proposed to enhance its skills in the context of ICI. In particular, the representation of the snow particle size distribution is adjusted across observations using a generalized gamma shape. This shape is found to outperform the usual Marshall-Palmer and gamma shapes. Additionally, a temperature and snow content dependence of generalized gamma parameters is found. These changes are found to significantly improve the snow concentration diagnostic of ICE3, and these modifications open the way for improvements in the ICE3 scheme.</p>
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