Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 11, pp 6785–6814 | Cite as

Simulation of mid-latitude winter storms over the North Atlantic Ocean: impact of boundary layer parameterization schemes

  • P. K. PradhanEmail author
  • Margarida L. R. Liberato
  • Vinay Kumar
  • S. Vijaya Bhaskara Rao
  • Juan Ferreira
  • Tushar Sinha


This study discusses the performance of various planetary boundary layer parameterization (PBL) schemes—the Quasi-Normal Scale Elimination (QNSE), the University of Washington Moist Turbulence (UWMT), and the Yonsei University (YSU)—for the simulation of rapidly developing North Atlantic (NA) mid-latitude winter storms. Sensitivity experiments with the three PBL schemes, YSU, QNSE, and UWMT, indicate that there are minor differences at the center of the storm while simulating the evolution of the three explosive storms Klaus (21–27 January 2009), Xynthia (25 February–03 March 2010), and Gong (16–20 January 2013). The differences are shown in terms of the central minimum pressure, 10-m wind, specific humidity, CAPE, transitional speed, boundary layer height and frictional velocity of these mid-latitude storms. One of the main result shows the capability of QNSE and UWMT PBL schemes to reproduce accurately both the cyclogenesis and explosive stage for these mid-latitude storms during the winter season, better than YSU scheme. Almost all PBL schemes show dry bias from middle to upper troposphere (600 hPa–250 hPa), while YSU scheme carries this bias at the surface boundary layer, for all simulations. Moreover, QNSE, UWMT and YMSU PBL schemes underestimate the tangential winds for these mid-latitude storms. The 24 h accumulated latent heat flux and precipitation from UWMT scheme show modified results as compared to YSU and QNSE PBL schemes. Overall results show the superiority of QNSE and UWMT PBL schemes for an accurate simulation of the explosive stage of these North Atlantic winter storms.


Mid-latitude storms Explosive cyclogenesis Mature stage Mesoscale model WRF Planetary boundary layer scheme North Atlantic Ocean 



This work was partially supported by FEDER (Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional) funds through the COMPETE (Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade) and by national funds through FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal) under project STORMEx FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-019524 (PTDC/AAC-CLI/121339/2010). Margarida L. R. Liberato also acknowledges funding from FCT and Portugal Horizon 2020 through project WEx-Atlantic (PTDC/CTA-MET/29233/2017). P. K. Pradhan wish to thankful to the University Grants Commission New-Delhi-India for providing financial support to carry out the research work. The authors gratefully acknowledge the NCEP/NCAR for their analysis data and WRF model code used in this study. We are also thankful to ECMWF ERA Interim reanalysis, UK Met Office, E-OBS dataset from the EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES ( and the data providers in the ECA&D project (, AVHRR and TRMM satellite products used in this study for the model validation. The Figures are made herewith in GrADs software are sincerely acknowledged. The authors also wish to thank three anonymous reviewers and editor for their review comments.

Supplementary material

382_2019_4962_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1293 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsSri Venkateswara UniversityTirupatiIndia
  2. 2.Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)Vila RealPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityKingsvilleUSA
  4. 4.Instituto Dom Luiz, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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