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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-823
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-823
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 09 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 09 Oct 2019

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

Simulation of convective moistening of extratropical lower stratosphere using a numerical weather prediction model

Zhipeng Qu1,2, Yi Huang1, Paul A. Vaillancourt2, Jason N. S. Cole3, Jason A. Milbrandt2, Man Kong Yau1, Kaley Walker4, and Jean de Grandpré2 Zhipeng Qu et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
  • 2Recherche en Prévision Numérique, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dorval, QC, Canada
  • 3Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 4Department of Physics, University of Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract. Stratospheric water vapor (SWV) is a climatically important atmospheric constituent due to its impacts on the radiation budget and atmospheric chemical composition. Despite the important role of SWV in the climate system, the processes controlling the distribution and variation of water vapor in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) are not well understood. In order to better understand the mechanism of transport of water vapor through the tropopause, this study uses the high resolution Global Environmental Multiscale model of the Environment and Climate Change Canada, to simulate a lower stratosphere moistening event over North America. Satellite remote sensing and aircraft in situ observations are used to evaluate the quality of model simulation. The main focus of this study is to evaluate the processes that influence the lower stratosphere water vapor budget, particularly the direct water vapor transport and the moistening due to the ice sublimation. In the high-resolution simulations with horizontal grid-spacing less than 2.5 km, it is found that the main contribution to lower-stratospheric moistening is the upward transport caused by the breaking of gravity waves. In contrast, for the lower-resolution simulation with horizontal grid-spacing of 10 km, the lower-stratospheric moistening is dominated by the sublimation of ice. In comparison with the aircraft in situ observations, the high-resolution simulations predict well the water vapor content in the UTLS, while the lower resolution simulation over-estimates the water vapor content. This overestimation is associated with the overly abundant ice in the UTLS along with too-high sublimation rate in the lower stratosphere. The results of this study affirm the strong influence of overshooting convection on the lower-stratospheric water vapor and highlight the importance of both dynamics and microphysics in simulating the water vapor distribution in the UTLS region.

Zhipeng Qu et al.
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Supplementary Information for: "Simulation of convective moistening of extratropical lower stratosphere using a numerical weather prediction model" Z. Qu https://doi.org/10.17632/8hry654mxr.1

Zhipeng Qu et al.
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Short summary
This study aims to better understand the mechanism of transport of water vapor through mid-latitude tropopause. The results affirm the strong influence of overshooting convection on the lower-stratospheric water vapor and highlight the importance of both dynamics and microphysics in simulating the water vapor distribution in the region of upper troposphere – lower stratosphere.
This study aims to better understand the mechanism of transport of water vapor through...
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