The Impact of Microphysics Parameterization in the Simulation of Two Convective Rainfall Events over the Central Andes of Peru Using WRF-ARW

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Martínez-Castro, Daniel
Kumar, Shailendra
Flores Rojas, José Luis
Moya-Álvarez, Aldo
Valdivia-Prado, Jairo M.
Villalobos-Puma, Elver
Castillo-Velarde, Carlos Del
Silva-Vidal, Yamina
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The present study explores the cloud microphysics (MPs) impact on the simulation of two convective rainfall events (CREs) over the complex topography of Andes mountains, using the Weather Research and Forecasting- Advanced Research (WRF-ARW) model. The events occurred on December 29 2015 (CRE1) and January 7 2016 (CRE2). Six microphysical parameterizations (MPPs) (Thompson, WSM6, Morrison, Goddard, Milbrandt and Lin) were tested, which had been previously applied in complex orography areas. The one-way nesting technique was applied to four domains, with horizontal resolutions of 18, 6, and 3 km for the outer ones, in which cumulus and MP parameterizations were applied, while for the innermost domain, with a resolution of 0.75 km, only MP parameterization was used. It was integrated for 36 h with National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP Final Operational Global Analysis (NFL) initial conditions at 00:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). The simulations were verified using Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) brightness temperature, Ka band cloud radar, and surface meteorology variables observed at the Huancayo Observatory. All the MPPs detected the surface temperature signature of the CREs, but for CRE2, it was underestimated during its lifetime in its vicinity, matching well after the simulated event. For CRE1, all the schemes gave good estimations of 24 h precipitation, but for CRE2, Goddard and Milbrandt underestimated the 24 h precipitation in the inner domain. The Morrison and Lin configurations reproduced the general dynamics of the development of cloud systems for the two case studies. The vertical profiles of the hydrometeors simulated by different schemes showed significant differences. The best performance of the Morrison scheme for both case studies may be related to its ability to simulate the role of graupel in precipitation formation. The analysis of the maximum reflectivity field, cloud top distribution, and vertical structure of the simulated cloud field also shows that the Morrison parameterization reproduced the convective systems consistently with observations
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WRF-ARW model, Cloud microphysics parameterization, Ka band radar, Complex orography, Central Andes