Using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with two different microphysics schemes, the Predicted Particle Properties (P3) and the Morrison double-moment parameterizations, we simulated a stratiform rainfall event on 20-21 April 2010. The simulation output was compared with precipitation and aircraft observations. The aircraft-observed moderate-rimed dendrites and plates indicated that riming contributed significantly to ice particle growth at the mature precipitation stage. Observations of dendrite aggregation and capped columns suggested that aggregation coexisted with deposition or riming and played an important role in producing many large particles. The domain-averaged values of the 24-h surface precipitation accumulation from the two schemes were quite close to each other. However, differences existed in the temporal and spatial evolutions of the precipitation distribution. An analysis of the surface precipitation temporal evolution indicated faster precipitation in Morrison, while P3 indicated slower rainfall by shifting the precipitation pattern eastward toward what was observed. The differences in precipitation values between the two schemes were related to the cloud water content distribution and fall speeds of rimed particles. P3 simulated the stratiform precipitation event better as it captured the gradual transition in the mass-weighted fall speeds and densities from unrimed to rimed particles.
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The reviewers were very helpful in improving the manuscript. We acknowledge their thoughtful suggestions. This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFC1507900) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41575131, 41530427 and 41875172).
• Riming and aggregation contributed significantly to ice particle growth.
• P3 provided slower rainfall than the Morrison scheme by shifting the precipitation pattern eastward toward what was observed.
• The differences in precipitation between the two schemes were related to the cloud water content and fall speeds of the rimed particles.
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Hou, T., Lei, H., Hu, Z. et al. Simulations of Microphysics and Precipitation in a Stratiform Cloud Case over Northern China: Comparison of Two Microphysics Schemes. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 37, 117–129 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-019-8257-0
- stratiform cloud
- Weather Research and Forecasting model
- fall speed