Articles | Volume 30, issue 5
Regular paper
07 May 2012
Regular paper |  | 07 May 2012

Impact of cloud parameterization on the numerical simulation of a super cyclone

M. S. Deshpande, S. Pattnaik, and P. S. Salvekar

Abstract. This study examines the role of parameterization of convection and explicit moisture processes on the simulated track, intensity and inner core structure of Orissa super cyclone (1999) in Bay of Bengal (north Indian Ocean). Sensitivity experiments are carried out to examine the impact of cumulus parameterization schemes (CPS) using MM5 model (Version 3.7) in a two-way nested domain (D1 and D2) configuration at horizontal resolutions (45–15 km). Three different cumulus parameterization schemes, namely Grell (Gr), Betts-Miller (BM) and updated Kain Fritsch (KF2), are tested. It is noted that track and intensity both are very sensitive to CPS and comparatively, KF2 predicts them reasonably well. Particularly, the rapid intensification phase of the super cyclone is best simulated by KF2 compared to other CPS. To examine the effect of the cumulus parameterization scheme at high resolution (5 km), the three-domain configuration (45-15-5 km resolution) is utilized. Based on initial results, KF2 scheme is used for both the domains (D1 and D2). Two experiments are conducted: one in which KF2 is used as CPS and another in which no CPS is used in the third domain. The intensity is well predicted when no CPS is used in the innermost domain. The sensitivity experiments are also carried out to examine the impact from microphysics parameterization schemes (MPS). Four cloud microphysics parameterization schemes, namely mixed phase (MP), Goddard microphysics with Graupel (GG), Reisner Graupel (RG) and Schultz (Sc), are tested in these experiments. It is noted that the tropical cyclone tracks and intensity variation have considerable sensitivity to the varying cloud microphysical parameterization schemes. The MPS of MP and Sc could very well capture the rapid intensification phase. The final intensity is well predicted by MP, which is overestimated by Sc. The MPS of GG and RG underestimates the intensity.