Representation by two climate models of the dynamical and diabatic processes involved in the development of an explosively deepening cyclone during NAWDEX

Flack, David L. A. ; Rivière, Gwendal ; Musat, Ionela ; Roehrig, Romain ; Bony, Sandrine ; Delanoë, Julien ; Cazenave, Quitterie ; Pelon, Jacques

Année de publication
2021
Résumé
<p align=justify>The dynamical and microphysical properties of a well-observed cyclone from the North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment (NAWDEX), called the Stalactite cyclone and corresponding to intensive observation period 6, is examined using two atmospheric components (ARPEGE-Climat 6.3 and LMDZ6A) of the global climate models CNRM-CM6-1 and IPSL-CM6A, respectively. The hindcasts are performed in 'weather forecast mode', run at approximately 150-200 km (low resolution, LR) and approximately 50 km (high resolution, HR) grid spacings, and initialised during the initiation stage of the cyclone. Cyclogenesis results from the merging of two relative vorticity maxima at low levels: one associated with a diabatic Rossby vortex (DRV) and the other initiated by baroclinic interaction with a pre-existing upper-level potential vorticity (PV) cut-off. All hindcasts produce (to some extent) a DRV. However, the second vorticity maximum is almost absent in LR hindcasts because of an underestimated upper-level PV cut-off. The evolution of the cyclone is examined via the quasi-geostrophic ω equation which separates the diabatic heating component from the dynamical one. In contrast to some previous studies, there is no change in the relative importance of diabatic heating with increased resolution. The analysis shows that LMDZ6A produces stronger diabatic heating compared to ARPEGE-Climat 6.3. Hindcasts initialised during the mature stage of the cyclone are compared with airborne remote-sensing measurements. There is an underestimation of the ice water content in the model compared to the one retrieved from radar-lidar measurements. Consistent with the increased heating rate in LMDZ6A compared to ARPEGE-Climat 6.3, the sum of liquid and ice water contents is higher in LMDZ6A than ARPEGE-Climat 6.3 and, in that sense, LMDZ6A is closer to the observations. However, LMDZ6A strongly overestimates the fraction of super-cooled liquid compared to the observations by a factor of approximately 50.</p>
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