Performance of cumulus parameterization schemes in the simulation of Indian Summer Monsoon using RegCM4

Suman Maity, Manabottam Mandal, Sridhara Nayak, Rajeev Bhatla

Abstract

The Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) is driven by organized large-scale convection; hence, its simulation is expected to depend on an appropriate representation of cumulus convection in the model. In the present study, the performance of different cumulus parameterization schemes is examined towards simulations of the ISM. The Regional Climate Model (RegCM4) is coupled with the Community Land Model (CLM 3.5) at 30 km resolution for the period May 1-September 30 for seasonal simulation of the ISM in three consecutive years, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Five numerical experiments with five convection schemes (Kuo, Grell, MIT, GO_ML [Grell over ocean and MIT over land], GL_MO [Grell over land and MIT over ocean]) are conducted for each of these three years. Some important features of the ISM simulated by the model, viz. low level westerly jet, upper level easterly jet, heat low, Tibetan high, etc., are analyzed and compared with that of the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis. We found that the heat low over northwest India and Pakistan in all the three years is better simulated by the model with the MIT convection scheme compared to other convection schemes, whereas spatial distribution and accuracy of surface temperature is better simulated using GL_MO rather than MIT. The low level westerly jet is well captured by the model with MIT with slightly weaker strength compared to the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis. The location and strength of the tropical easterly jet is well predicted in each simulation with some uncertainty in strength, and are better simulated with MIT. The comparison of the model simulated rainfall with 0.5º × 0.5º datasets from the Climate Research Unit (CRU TS3.22) indicates that seasonal and monthly average rainfall are well simulated with MIT and GO_ML; however, the same over central and western India is significantly underestimated by the model with all the convection schemes. Comparatively, higher sensible heat flux and lower latent heat flux are noticed in the model simulation with all schemes. This change of fluxes affects surface temperature and rainfall simulation significantly. The statistical analysis indicates that surface temperature and rainfall are well reproduced by the model with GL_MO and GO_ML, but circulation is better simulated with MIT only. It is observed that although the bias in the model with MIT is slightly higher than that of the two mixed schemes, the spatial distribution and other synoptic features of surface temperature and rainfall during ISM are well simulated. Thus, considering overall performances, the RegCM4 with MIT the cumulus convection scheme provides better simulation of seasonal and monthly features of the monsoon.

Keywords

Indian summer monsoon; seasonal simulation; cumulus convection

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