Error and energy budget analysis of a nonhydrostatic stretched-grid global atmospheric model

Junya Uchida, Masato Mori, Hisashi Nakamura, Masaki Satoh, Kentaroh Suzuki, Teruyuki Nakajima

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16 Citations (Scopus)


A nonhydrostatic stretched-grid (SG) model is used to analyze the large-scale errors generated by stretching horizontal grids and their influence on a region of interest. Simulations by a fully compressible, nonhydrostatic global atmospheric model, the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM), and its SG regional model, stretched-NICAM, were performed for the months of March, April, and May of 2011 using various resolutions and stretching factors. A comparison of week-long accumulative precipitation amounts between the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite data and the quasi-uniform and SG simulations showed that a stretched run better represents storms and associated precipitation because the errors generated in the outer regions with coarser grid spacing do not significantly affect the inner domain centered at the focal point. For season-long simulations, in one particular set of stretched runs with the focal point located in the eastern United States, the artificial suppression of baroclinic development of midlatitude eddies in the Southern Hemisphere weakened the eddy-driven polar-front jet (PFJ), which yielded a cold bias at mid- to high latitudes. However, in the Northern Hemisphere, in contrast, the aforementioned changes are less apparent. Therefore, for the SG runs, the mean temperature was maintained at the region of interest, and an increased amount of moderate to heavy precipitation, which is also frequently found in the TRMM data, was observed; thus, the benefits of increased resolution were realized. However, careful attention must be given when applying the SG model because a regional climate response to the change in the large-scale circulations may not be fully accounted for.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1447
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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