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Hirt, Mirjam and Craig, George C. (2021): A cold pool perturbation scheme to improve convective initiation in convection-permitting models. In: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 147, No. 737: pp. 2429-2447

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Cold pools originate from evaporation in precipitating downdraughts and spread as density currents at the surface. Vertical motion at the leading edge of the cold pool is an important trigger for new convective cells in organised convective storms. However, these motions are poorly resolved at the grid lengths of a kilometre or more used in convection-permitting models. Consequently, the simulated gust fronts do not trigger enough new convection, leading to precipitation deficits and a lack of convective organization. To address these deficits, we introduce a cold pool perturbation (CPP) scheme that strengthens vertical velocity at the simulated cold pool gust fronts. This is achieved by relaxing the vertical velocity in the gust front region towards a target value derived from similarity theory. Applying the CPP scheme for simulations of a highly convective 10-day period, we find increased precipitation amplitudes during the afternoon. There is also evidence for improvements in the location of precipitation and for stronger organization of convection, although substantial errors remain. The cold pools themselves become more frequent, larger and more intense. An additional potentially beneficial influence was found for convective initiation at sea breeze fronts.

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