Microphysics in Goddard Multi-scale Modeling Systems: A Review

  • W.-K. TaoEmail author
  • J. Chern
  • T. Iguchi
  • S. Lang
  • M.-I. Lee
  • X. Li
  • A. Loftus
  • T. Matsui
  • K. Mohr
  • S. Nicholls
  • C. Peters-Lidard
  • D. J. Posselt
  • G. Skofronick-Jackson
Part of the Springer Atmospheric Sciences book series (SPRINGERATMO)


Advances in computing power allow atmospheric prediction and general circulation models to be run at progressively finer scales of resolution, using increasingly more sophisticated physical parameterizations. The representation of cloud microphysical processes is one of the key components of these models. In addition, over the past decade, both research and operational numerical weather prediction models have started using more complex microphysical schemes that were originally developed for high-resolution cloud-resolving models (CRMs). In the paper, we describe different microphysics schemes that are used in the Goddard multi-scale modeling system, the three major models of which are the Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE), NASA-Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF), and Multi-scale Modeling Framework (MMF) models. The microphysics schemes are the Goddard three class ice (3ICE) and four class ice (4ICE), Morrison two moment (2M), Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) 2M five class ice, and spectral bin microphysics schemes. The performance of these schemes is examined and compared with radar and satellite observations. In addition, the intercomparison of different microphysics schemes is conducted. Current and future observations needed for microphysics schemes evaluation as well as major characteristics of current microphysics are discussed.


Microphysics Cloud-Resolving Model Mesoscale Convective System 



The authors appreciate the inspiring and enthusiastic support by Dr. Joanne Simpson for many years. The author is grateful to Dr. R. Kakar and Dr. D. Consitine at NASA headquarters for their continuous support of Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE), NU-WRF, and GMMF model improvements and applications. The NASA PMM and MAP mainly support the work. Acknowledgment is also made to Dr. T. Lee at NASA headquarters, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the NASA Ames Research Center for computer time used in this research.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • W.-K. Tao
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Chern
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. Iguchi
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Lang
    • 1
    • 3
  • M.-I. Lee
    • 4
  • X. Li
    • 1
    • 5
  • A. Loftus
    • 2
    • 6
  • T. Matsui
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. Mohr
    • 7
  • S. Nicholls
    • 1
    • 8
  • C. Peters-Lidard
    • 7
  • D. J. Posselt
    • 9
  • G. Skofronick-Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes LaboratoryNASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  2. 2.Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.Science Systems and Applications Inc.LanhamUSA
  4. 4.School of Urban and Environmental EngineeringUlsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST)UlsanRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and ResearchMorgan State UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  6. 6.Climate and Radiation LaboratoryNASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  7. 7.Earth Sciences DivisionNASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  8. 8.Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  9. 9.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA

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