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Keil, Christian; Baur, Florian; Bachmann, Kevin; Rasp, Stephan; Schneider, Linda; Barthlott, Christian (2019): Relative contribution of soil moisture, boundary-layer and microphysical perturbations on convective predictability in different weather regimes. In: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 145, No. 724: pp. 3102-3115
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Abstract

The relative contributions of soil moisture heterogeneities, a stochastic boundary-layer perturbation scheme and varied aerosol concentrations representing microphysical uncertainties on the diurnal cycle of convective precipitation and its spatial variability are examined conditional on the prevailing weather regime. To achieve this, separate perturbed-parameter ensemble simulations are performed with the Consortium for Small-scale Modeling (COSMO) model at convection-permitting horizontal grid spacing for 10 days during a high-impact weather episode in 2016 in Central Europe. We consider hourly precipitation amounts and their spatial distribution, focus on ensemble mean and spread aggregated over strong and weak forcing conditions, and employ spatial evaluation techniques. The convective adjustment time-scale diagnostic is used to distinguish the different precipitation regimes. While the total amount of daily precipitation is hardly changed by the different perturbation approaches (less than 5%), the spatial variability of precipitation exhibits clear differences. Soil moisture heterogeneity primarily introduces variability during convection initiation causing a steeper increase in normalized rainfall spread prior to the onset of afternoon precipitation. The stochastic boundary-layer perturbations lead to the largest spatial variability impacting precipitation from initial time onwards with an amplitude comparable to the operational ensemble spread. Similarly, perturbed aerosol concentrations impact spatial precipitation variability from the model start onwards, but to a smaller degree. Soil moisture heterogeneity shows the strongest weather regime dependence, with the greatest impact on convection during weak synoptic forcing. All types of perturbation increase dispersion of precipitation while maintaining the domain-averaged precipitation rates.