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Precipitation Features of the Maritime Continent in Parameterized and Explicit Convection Models

Área de investigaciónAstronomía, Espacio y Ciencias de la Tierra
TítuloPrecipitation Features of the Maritime Continent in Parameterized and Explicit Convection Models
Tipo de publicaciónArtículo de revista
Año de publicación2020
AutoresArgueso, D., R. Romero, y V. Homar
Type of ArticleArticle
KeywordsClimate models, Cloud resolving models, Convective parameterization, Convective-scale processes, Regional models}, {Precipitation

The Maritime Continent is the largest archipelago in the world and a region of intense convective activity that influences Earth's general circulation. The region features one of the warmest oceans, very complex topography, dense vegetation, and an intricate configuration of islands, which together result in very specific precipitation characteristics, such as a marked diurnal cycle. Atmospheric models poorly resolve deep convection processes that generate rainfall in the archipelago and show fundamental errors in simulating precipitation. Spatial resolution and the use of convective schemes required to represent subgrid convective circulations have been pointed out as culprits of these errors. However, models running at the kilometer scale explicitly resolve most convective systems and thus are expected to contribute to solve the challenge of accurately simulating rainfall in the Maritime Continent. Here we investigate the differences in simulated precipitation characteristics for different representations of convection, including parameterized and explicit, and at various spatial resolutions. We also explore the vertical structure of the atmosphere in search of physical mechanisms that explain the main differences identified in the rainfall fields across model experiments. Our results indicate that both increased resolution and representing convection explicitly are required to produce a more realistic simulation of precipitation features, such as a correct diurnal cycle both over land and ocean. We found that the structures of deep and shallow clouds are the main differences across experiments and thus they are responsible for differences in the timing and spatial distribution of rainfall patterns in the various convection representation experiments.