Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 525-557, 2012
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/525/2012/
doi:10.5194/acpd-12-525-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Microphysical controls on the stratocumulus topped boundary-layer structure during VOCALS-REx
I. A. Boutle and S. J. Abel
Met Office, Exeter, UK

Abstract. Simulations at a range of resolutions are compared to observations from the South-East Pacific taken during VOCALS-REx. It is found that horizontal resolution makes little difference to the bulk properties of the simulated cloud and drizzle, but the highest resolution simulation is able to realistically represent mesoscale features in the cloud field. We focus on the highest resolution simulation and demonstrate that a poor representation of the cloud microphysics results in excessive drizzle production. This promotes persistent drizzle induced decoupling of the boundary layer, giving a poor representation of the observed diurnal cycle of stratocumulus. Two simple changes to the microphysics scheme are implemented, resulting in a more realistic simulation of boundary-layer diurnal decoupling, and improvements to the cloud liquid water path and surface drizzle rate.

Citation: Boutle, I. A. and Abel, S. J.: Microphysical controls on the stratocumulus topped boundary-layer structure during VOCALS-REx, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 525-557, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-525-2012, 2012.
 
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