WRF Problems: Some Solutions, Some Mysteries

WRF Problems: Some Solutions, Some Mysteries

WRF Problems: Some Solutions, Some Mysteries Cliff Mass and David Ovens University of Washington

WRF Still Has Some Significant Issues Unreasonably cold near-surface temperatures over snow. Strange linear features during low-stability periods over the oceans.

And more For some issues, there are approaches for mitigation, for others, it is unclear what is wrong (at least to us!).

Big Problem 1: WRF Air Temperatures Above Snow Fields Can Be WAY Too Cold As The Atmosphere Warms Particularly evident during spring as the sun gets strong.

Apparent in daytime temperatures, but not at night. Verification at 00 UTC (4-5 PM) for the UW WRF System (3.4.1) over the NW

U.S. Big Errors in Spring! Error is Due to a Cold Bias!

But the Error Disappears at 12 UTC (45 AM) We have had this problem for years but worse this year because of

additional sun and warmth Turns out the problem is related to snow coverage. When observed 2-m air temperature is in the 40s or 50s F during the day, the 2-m model air

temperature is near freezing. Largest error in 2-m air temperature from PBL schemes, but evident in lower model levels. 2-m WRF Temp. Bias at 00 UTC

24 March-5 April 2013 Remove Snow: Much Better! Recent Example: June 23, North

Cascades Can We Fix This By Trying Different Physics Options? Current UW System is run at 36-12-4-1.3 km

using WRF 3.4.1 No improvement of snow-cold problem with resolution. Now using SAS Cu Parameterization, YSU PBL, Thompson Microphysics, RRTM LW, Dudhia SW,

Five-layer soil scheme. Tried MANY other combinations: NOAH and NOAH MP LSM, RUC LSM, RRTM-G LW, Goddard Radiation, MYJ PBL. NOTHING FIXED THE PROBLEM

To Show You How Messed Up Things Are We Tried a Run With Snow over the ENTIRE Western U.S.

LA Under Our Experiment Observed Snow: 3 hrs In All Land Covered in Snow: 3 hr

Sounding at Seattle: Observed Snow Snow World

24h In: Observed Snow All Snow! Fixing the Problem

Talked to NCAR developersthey know there is a problem. NCEP folks have seen the same issue with NAM-NMM NOAA ESRL have noted the same problem in

RR and HRRR. Could the issue be with the surface schemes? Another Issue: Strange Linear Features over the Ocean

Wacky Linear Features in Precipitation Generally most evident over the Pacific Ocean Usually occurs in post-frontal flow that is relatively unstable

(cold air aloft over relative warm45-50F sea surfaces). The origin? The convective parameterization (in our case, KainFritsch) Comprehensive experimentation by Dave

Ovens of all available convective schemes. Best choice: the same scheme used by NCEP for GFS model: SAS (Simplified Arakawa Schubert) scheme. Also improves our substantial

underforecasting of summer convection over the mountainsanother significant problem. Kain-Fritsch, 3-h Precipitation

SAS Improvement of Shallow Convection Coming off Cascade Mts with SAS

July 9, 2012 1029 UTC, Camano Is. Radar Kain Fritsch: Nothing

SAS: More Realistic Some Other Problems NOAH MP LSM showed improved verifications in tests over the Northwest, but does not

appear to be stabletoo many lost runs and sensitive to number of processors. Stability issues of RUC LSM with RTTMG LW radiation scheme. One big advantage of LSMs: dramatic

improvement of low-level humidity. Dew Point Bias at 12 UTC No LSM


8.2 Strange linear features in WRF clouds and precipitation: Diagnosis and correction Mass, Clifford, and David Owens, University of Washington

During the past year it became obvious that the model output over the Pacific Ocean often showed strange, and often persistent, linear features, particularly in a post-frontal environment in which stability was reduced. In a comprehensive series of experiments, in which various boundary-layer schemes, vertical resolutions, and cumulus parameterizations were, it was found that these lines

were highly sensitive to the convective parameterization, with only the SAS scheme providing satisfactory results. Other sets of strange linear features, mainly over land were also noted, and it was found they originated in reflections off the upper boundary (100 hPa) in the model. Lifting the model top to 50 hPa and using the WRF Rayleigh damping scheme with a sufficient number of levels near the

model lid, radically reduced the phantom lines and improved the structure and tilt of mountain waves.

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