30 Apr 2024
 | 30 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Atmospheric River Induced Precipitation in California as Simulated by the Regionally Refined Simple Convection Resolving E3SM Atmosphere Model (SCREAM) Version 0

Peter Bogenschutz, Jishi Zhang, Qi Tang, and Philip Cameron-Smith

Abstract. Using the Regionally Refined Mesh (RRM) configuration of the U.S. Department of Energy's Simple Cloud Resolving E3SM Atmosphere Model (SCREAM), we simulate and evaluate four meteorologically distinct atmospheric river events over California. We test five different RRM configurations, each differing in terms of the areal extent of the refined mesh and the resolution (ranging from 800 m to 3.25 km). We find that SCREAM-RRM generally has a good representation of the AR generated precipitation in CA, even for the control simulation which has a very small 3 km refined patch, and is able to capture the fine scale regional distributions that are controlled largely by the fine scale topography of the state. Although, it is found that SCREAM generally has a wet bias over topography, most prominently over the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with a corresponding dry bias on the lee side. We find that refining the resolution beyond 3 km (specifically 1.6 km and 800 m) has virtually no benefit towards reducing systematic precipitation biases, but that improvements can be found when increasing the areal extent of the upstream refined mesh. However, these improvements are relatively modest and only realized if the size of the refined mesh is expanded to the scale where employing RRM no longer achieves the substantial cost benefit it was intended for.

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Peter Bogenschutz, Jishi Zhang, Qi Tang, and Philip Cameron-Smith

Status: open (until 25 Jun 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-839', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 May 2024 reply
Peter Bogenschutz, Jishi Zhang, Qi Tang, and Philip Cameron-Smith
Peter Bogenschutz, Jishi Zhang, Qi Tang, and Philip Cameron-Smith


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Short summary
Using a high-resolution and state-of-the-art modeling techniques we simulate five atmospheric river events for California to test the capability of representing precipitation for these events. We find that our model is able to capture the distribution of precipitation very well, but suffers from overestimating the precipitation amounts over high elevation. Increasing the resolution further has no impact on reducing this bias, while increasing the domain size does have modest impacts.