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Performance of an eddy diffusivity – mass flux scheme for shallow cumulus boundary layers

Abstract

Comparisons between single-column (SCM) simulations with the total energy–mass flux boundary layer scheme (TEMF) and large-eddy simulations (LES) are shown for four cases from the Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (GoMACCS) 2006 field experiment in the vicinity of Houston, Texas. The SCM simulations were run with initial soundings and surface forcing identical to those in the LES, providing a clean comparison with the boundary layer scheme isolated from any other influences. Good agreement is found in the simulated vertical transport and resulting moisture profiles. Notable differences are seen in the cloud base and in the distribution of moisture between the lower and upper cloud layer. By the end of the simulations, TEMF has dried the subcloud layer and moistened the lower cloud layer more than LES. TEMF gives more realistic profiles for shallow cumulus conditions than traditional boundary layer schemes, which have no transport above the dry convective boundary layer. Changes to the formulation and its parameters from previous publications are discussed.

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