Articles | Volume 16, issue 1
31 Jan 1998
31 Jan 1998

The Meso-NH Atmospheric Simulation System. Part I: adiabatic formulation and control simulations

J. P. Lafore, J. Stein, N. Asencio, P. Bougeault, V. Ducrocq, J. Duron, C. Fischer, P. Héreil, P. Mascart, V. Masson, J. P. Pinty, J. L. Redelsperger, E. Richard, and J. Vilà-Guerau de Arellano

Abstract. The Meso-NH Atmospheric Simulation System is a joint effort of the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques and Laboratoire d'Aérologie. It comprises several elements; a numerical model able to simulate the atmospheric motions, ranging from the large meso-alpha scale down to the micro-scale, with a comprehensive physical package, a flexible file manager, an ensemble of facilities to prepare initial states, either idealized or interpolated from meteorological analyses or forecasts, a flexible post-processing and graphical facility to visualize the results, and an ensemble of interactive procedures to control these functions. Some of the distinctive features of this ensemble are the following: the model is currently based on the Lipps and Hemler form of the anelastic system, but may evolve towards a more accurate form of the equations system. In the future, it will allow for simultaneous simulation of several scales of motion, by the so-called "interactive grid-nesting technique". It allows for the in-line computation and accumulation of various terms of the budget of several quantities. It allows for the transport and diffusion of passive scalars, to be coupled with a chemical module. It uses the relatively new Fortran 90 compiler. It is tailored to be easily implemented on any UNIX machine. Meso-NH is designed as a research tool for small and meso-scale atmospheric processes. It is freely accessible to the research community, and we have tried to make it as "user-friendly" as possible, and as general as possible, although these two goals sometimes appear contradictory. The present paper presents a general description of the adiabatic formulation and some of the basic validation simulations. A list of the currently available physical parametrizations and initialization methods is also given. A more precise description of these aspects will be provided in a further paper.