Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 91–105 | Cite as

Explicit and parameterized episodes of warm-season precipitation over the continental United States

  • Changhai Liu
  • Mitchell W. Moncrieff
  • John D. Tuttle
  • Richard E. Carbone


This paper describes explicit and parameterized simulations of midsummer precipitation over the continental United States for two distinct episodes: moderate large-scale forcing and weak forcing. The objective is to demonstrate the capability of explicit convection at currently affordable grid-resolution and compare it with parameterized realizations. Under moderate forcing, 3-km grid-resolution explicit simulations represent rainfall coherence remarkably well. The observed daily convective generation near the Continental Divide and the subsequent organization and propagation are reproduced qualitatively. The propagation speed, zonal extent and duration of the rainfall streaks compare favorably with their observed counterparts, although the streak frequency is underestimated. The simulations at ∼10-km grid-resolution applying conventional convective parameterization schemes also replicate reasonably well the diurnal convective regeneration in moderate forcing. The performance of the 3-km grid-resolution model demonstrates the potential of ∼1-km-resolution explicit cloud-resolving models for the prediction of warm season precipitation for moderately forced environments. In weak forcing conditions, however, predictions of precipitation coherence and diurnal variability are much poorer. This suggests that an even finer resolution explicit model is required to adequately treat convective initiation and upscale organization typical of the warm season over the continental U.S.

Key words

warm-season precipitation explicit simulation convective parameterization 


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Copyright information

© Science Press 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Changhai Liu
    • 1
  • Mitchell W. Moncrieff
    • 1
  • John D. Tuttle
    • 1
  • Richard E. Carbone
    • 1
  1. 1.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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