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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1251
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1251
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Jan 2019

Research article | 10 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Microphysics of Summer Clouds in Central West Antarctica Simulated by Polar WRF and AMPS

Keith M. Hines1, David H. Bromwich1,2, Sheng-Hung Wang1, Israel Silber3, Johannes Verlinde3, and Dan Lubin4 Keith M. Hines et al.
  • 1Polar Meteorology Group, Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
  • 2Atmospheric Sciences Program, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
  • 3Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802, USA
  • 4Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 96802, USA

Abstract. The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) provided a highly detailed set of remote sensing and surface observations to study Antarctic clouds and surface energy balance, which have received much less attention than for the Arctic due to greater logistical challenges. Limited prior Antarctic cloud observations has slowed the progress of numerical weather prediction in this region. The AWARE observations from WAIS Divide during December 2015 and January 2016 are used to evaluate the operational forecasts of the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) and new simulations with Polar WRF 3.9.1. The Polar WRF 3.9.1 simulations are conducted with advanced microphysics schemes and with the WRF single-moment 5-class microphysics (WSM5C) also used by AMPS. AMPS simulates few liquid clouds during summer at WAIS Divide, inconsistent with observations of frequent low-level liquid clouds. Polar WRF 3.9.1 simulations show that this result is a consequence of WSM5C. More advanced microphysics schemes simulate more cloud liquid water and produce stronger cloud radiative forcing, resulting in downward longwave and shortwave radiation at the surface more in agreement with observations. Similarly, increased cloud fraction is simulated with the more advanced microphysics schemes. All of the simulations, however, produce smaller net cloud fractions than observed. Ice water paths vary less between the simulations than liquid water paths. The colder and drier atmosphere driven by GFS initial and boundary conditions for AMPS forecasts produces lesser cloud amounts than the Polar WRF 3.9.1 simulations driven by ERA-Interim.

Keith M. Hines et al.
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Short summary
We explore how well clouds are represented in numerical weather prediction over Antarctica, a very difficult environment for field programs where few studies have been conducted. Fortunately, a 2015–2017 field program for West Antarctica supplied observations. We achieve promising results with newer, more advanced cloud schemes. We need to understand the role of clouds and precipitation in the maintenance of the Antarctic ice mass to understand and predict sea level change over the 21st Century.
We explore how well clouds are represented in numerical weather prediction over Antarctica, a...
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