A great challenge in climate modeling is how to parameterize subgrid cloud processes, such as autoconversion and accretion in warm-rain formation. In this study, we use ground-based observations and retrievals over the Azores to investigate the so-called enhancement factors, Eauto and Eaccr, which are often used in climate models to account for the influence of subgrid variance of cloud and precipitation water on the autoconversion and accretion processes. Eauto and Eaccr are computed for different equivalent model grid sizes. The calculated Eauto values increase from 1.96 (30 km) to 3.2 (180 km), and the calculated Eaccr values increase from 1.53 (30 km) to 1.76 (180 km). Comparing the prescribed enhancement factors in Morrison and Gettleman (2008, MG08) to the observed ones, we found that a higher Eauto (3.2) at small grids and lower Eaccr (1.07) are used in MG08, which might explain why most of the general circulation models (GCMs) produce too-frequent precipitation events but with too-light precipitation intensity. The ratios of the rain to cloud water mixing ratio (qr/qc) at Eaccr D 1:07 and Eaccr D 2:0 are 0.063 and 0.142, respectively, from observations, further suggesting that the prescribed value of Eaccr D 1:07 used in MG08 is too small to simulate precipitation intensity correctly. Both Eauto and Eaccr increase when the boundary layer becomes less stable, and the values are larger in precipitating clouds (CLWP > 75 gm2/ than those in non-precipitating clouds (CLWP < 75 gm2). Therefore, the selection of Eauto and Eaccr values in GCMs should be regime-and resolution-dependent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science