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Estimation of oceanic precipitation efficiency in cloud models

By C.H. Sui


[[abstract]]Precipitation efficiency is estimated based on vertically integrated budgets of water vapor and clouds using hourly data from both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) cloud-resolving simulations. The 2D cloud-resolving model is forced by the vertical velocity derived from the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). The 3D cloud-resolving modeling is based on the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University-National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU-NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) simulation of Typhoon Nari (in 2001). The analysis of the hourly moisture and cloud budgets of the 2D simulation shows that the total moisture source (surface evaporation and vertically integrated moisture convergence) is converted into hydrometeors through vapor condensation and deposition rates regardless of the area size where the average is taken. This leads to the conclusion that the large-scale and cloud-microphysics precipitation efficiencies are statistically equivalent. Results further show that convergence (divergence) of hydrometeors would make precipitation efficiency larger (smaller). The precipitation efficiency tends to be larger (even > 100%) in light rain conditions as a result of hydrometeor convergence from the neighboring atmospheric columns. Analysis of the hourly moisture and cloud budgets of the 3D results from the simulation of a typhoon system with heavy rainfall generally supports that of 2D results from the simulation of the tropical convective system with moderate rainfall intensity

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:
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