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A Lagrangian drop model to study warm rain microphysical processes in a shallow cumulus


Naumann,  Ann Kristin
Hans Ertel Research Group Clouds and Convection, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society, Bundesstraße 53, 20146 Hamburg, DE,;
IMPRS on Earth System Modelling, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Naumann, A. K., & Seifert, A. (2015). A Lagrangian drop model to study warm rain microphysical processes in a shallow cumulus. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 7, 1136-1154. doi:10.1002/2015MS000456.

In this study, we introduce a Lagrangian drop (LD) model to study warm rain microphysical processes in shallow cumulus. The approach combines Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) including a bulk microphysics parameterization with an LD model for raindrop growth. The LD model is one-way coupled with the Eulerian LES and represents all relevant rain microphysical processes such as evaporation, accretion, and selfcollection among LDs as well as dynamical effects such as sedimentation and inertia. To test whether the LD model is fit for purpose, a sensitivity study for isolated shallow cumulus clouds is conducted. We show that the surface precipitation rate and the development of the raindrop size distribution are sensitive to the treatment of selfcollection in the LD model. Some uncertainty remains for the contribution of the subgrid-scale turbulence to the relative velocity difference of a pair of LDs, which appears as a factor in the collision kernel. Sensitivities to other model parameters such as the initial multiplicity or the initial mass distribution are small. Overall, sensitivities of the LD model are small compared to the uncertainties in the assumptions of the bulk rain microphysics scheme, and the LD model is well suited for particle-based studies of raindrop growth and dynamics. This opens up the opportunity to study effects like recirculation, deviations from terminal fall velocity and other microphysical phenomena that so far were not accessible for bin, bulk, or parcel models. © 2015. The Authors.