# Cloud/Radiation parameterization issues in high resolution NWP

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1 Cloud/Radiation parameterization issues in high resolution NWP Bent H Sass Danish Meteorological Institute 10 June 2009 As the horizontal grid size in atmospheric models is reduced the assumptions made in connection with vertical column physics becomes more and more incorrect

2 Outline of presentation Simple computation examples illustrating the basic problems associated with radiation processes in column physics for a cloudy atmosphere. Sensitivity of solar- and thermal radiation to column physics computations Satellite pictures Shadows from clouds are often visible in satellite pictures: examples are shown

3 Past and ongoing modelling studies investigating effects of 3-dimensional cloud/radiation interaction. Concluding remarks

4 Convective cloud column Test examples for solar radiation Example 1a: Solar zenith angle= 30 deg Observational facts: Solar constant ~1370 W/m2 Actual situation: Direct sunshine reaches the ground without penetrating the deep convective cloud. However: in Column physics only a small fraction of solar radiation will reach the ground due to a high cloud albedo. 2 km Solar radiation F at the ground: A) Column physics: F~1370*cos (30)*0.10 =119 W/m2 B) Slant column: F~1370*cos (30)*0.75 =890 W/m2 Difference = W/m2 = 771 W/m2

5 Convective cloud column Test examples for solar radiation 2 km Example 1b: As the deep convective clouds are expanded to a larger area the domain area average influx to the ground is much in error for the case of vertical column physics Column physics: F( column mean ) = (4*890 +1*119)*0.20 = 736 W/m2 Realistic computation: F (area mean) = (4*119 +1*890)*0.20 =273 W/m2 Difference = 463 W/m2

6 Example 2: How long can the shadows from clouds be? Shadow for deep convective clouds Extending to 17.6 km at a solar height of 10 deg. = 100 km! 17,6 km Length of shadow = 100 km

7 Example 3: order of magnitude computation for thermal radiation Cloud free angle cloud cloud surface grid size D Assumptions for worst case type of computations of net radiation at the ground giving siginicant differences between column physics and more realistic computations where the actual sky view (cloud free cone) is taken into account, integrating radiance over the half sphere above the ground cloud layers of big horizontal extent outside the vertical column (cylinder)!

8 Assumptions for simplified LW computations: Surface: black body (absorbing all incoming radiation) Isothermal atmosphere with temperature = 288 K Only the effect of boundary layer clouds between 1000m and 2000m is considered. The rest of the atmosphere is cloud free Radiation from clear sky atmosphere towards the ground is ~75 percent of the black body radiation Radiation from clouds to the ground is exchanged through atmospheric window by 25 percent of the black body radiation at the atmospheric temperature.

9 Results for thermal radiation Maximum error occurs when the grid size goes to very small values considering cloud free column while in reality the surroundings are covered by a large cloud sheet radiating like a black body towards the ground. The figure shows the percentage of the maximum error (~98 W/m2) as a function of grid size arising from executing column physics under the specified conditions

10 Satellite evidence for significant shadow effects from clouds. This effect is clearly non-negligible negligible when computing solar radiation at the ground in high resolution models

11

12 Clouds over Spain 22 marts 2009 late in the afternoon

13 Early morning in tropical summer at Madagaskar 8 January UTC (~ 6.00 local time ) Note the long convective band between Madagaskar and Mozambique with shadows of order 100 km long

14 Radiative heating of the atmosphere due to cloud geometry effects : Summary: Deep cumulus cloud fields : Very substantial effects e.g. Qiang Fu et al., (2000) Shallow cumulus cloud fields: Significant effects in some cases e.g. Qiang Fu et al. (2000), Guan et al. (1997) Stratocumulus cloud fields: Some effects at cloud tops, otherwise small e.g. Mechem et al. (2002), Guan et al. (1995)

15 Modelling studies of 3D radiation impacts on clouds Cumulus cloud Raditive longwave cooling at the sides of the cloud cloud dynamics solar absorbtion at the sides of the cloud Guan et al. (1997) document 3D-radiation effect caused by longwave cooling at the sides of the cloud leading to increased downdrafts

16 3D cloud geometry effects on surface solar radiation Wapler and Mayer,, 2008 ( a, b) have developed a solar radiation scheme which calculates a tilted optical thickness for each surface pixel that is then used as input to a one-dimensional radiative transfer code. They conclude: It has been shown that the consideration of three dimensional radiative effects can have a significant impact on the formation and development of convective clouds.

17 Modelling of a tilted solar radiation in HIRLAM (ongoing work since 2009) classical vertical air column for model physics computations Position of the sun Surface model grid Planned new configuration: Each time step a tilted air column is determined in the direction of the sun for computations of surface solar radiation

18 Simplified implementation of 3D- cloud geometry effects in HIRLAM. Determine an alternative column in the direction of the sun based on the knowledge of solar height, azimuth angle and the horizontal plus vertical grid spacing. The essential variables (specific( humidity, cloud water, cloud ice, cloud cover and temperature) ) of the new columns are passed to the physics in the normal way as is done for other global arrays. The values of the new arrays should not be time stepped or remembered to the next time step. The heating rates of the atmosphere (longwave and shortwave ) could in a first implementation be computed in vertical columns as usual. However the 3D cloud geometry effects are taken into account with regard to incoming surface radiation.

19 CONCLUSIONS Numerical modelling studies show that 3D cloud geometry effects on atmospheric heating rates can be significant both with regard to longwave and shortwave radiation. The effects can be very significant for deep convective cloud fields while more modest effects are seen for shallow cumulus or stratocumulus. For high resolution NWP models (~ below 5 km grid size) the radiative downward flux to the ground can become seriously in error when using vertical column physics as an effect of cloud geometry effects. The errors associated with solar radiation seem to be significantly larger than for thermal radiation.

20 CONCLUSIONS Numerical studies indicate that shading effects can have a significant effect on the evolution of the model s cloud field The future will reveal the possible fruits of introducing simplified 3D radiation -effects in operational NWP models.

21 References(1) Guan,, H., R. Davies, and M.K. Yau,, 1995: Longwave radiative cooling rares in axially symmetric clouds J. Geophys.. Res., 100, Guan,, H., M.K. Yau and R. Davies,, 1997: The effects of longwave radiation in a small cumulus cloud. J. Atmos. Sci.., 56, Mechem,, D.B., Y.L.Kogan,, M. Ovtchinnikov,, A.B. Davis, R.R. Cahalan,, E.E. Takara and R.G. Ellingson 2000: Large-Eddy Simulation of PBL Stratocumulus: Comparison of Multi-Dimensional and IPA Longwave radiative Forcing. In Twelfth ARM Science Team meeting proceedings,, St. Petersburg,, Florida, April 8-12, Qiang Fu,, M.C. Cribb,, H.W. Barker, S.K. Krueger and A. Crossman: Cloud Geometry Effects on Atmospheric Solar Absorbtion. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 2000, Vol. 57, 8,

22 References(2) Wapler,, K. and B.Mayer (a), 2008: The Role of three-dimensional radiative Transfer on convective Cloud formation: Geopysical Research Abstracts,, Vol.10, EGU2008-A Wapler,, K. and B.Mayer (b), 2008: A Fast Three-Dimensional Approximation for the Calculation of Surface Irradiance in large-eddy Simulation Models Journal of Appl. Meteorology and Climatology,, Vol. 47, 12,

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