Stable Atmospheric Boundary Layers and Diurnal Cycles – Challenges for Weather and Climate Models
Van de Wiel, BJH
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
American Meteorological Society
This is the final version of the article. Available from the American Meteorological Society via the DOI in this record.
The representation of the atmospheric boundary layer is an important part of weather and climate models and impacts many applications such as air quality and wind energy. Over the years, the performance in modeling 2-m temperature and 10-m wind speed has improved but errors are still significant. This is in particular the case under clear skies and low wind speed conditions at night as well as during winter in stably stratified conditions over land and ice. In this paper, the authors review these issues and provide an overview of the current understanding and model performance. Results from weather forecast and climate models are used to illustrate the state of the art as well as findings and recommendations from three intercomparison studies held within the Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) Atmospheric Boundary Layer Study (GABLS). Within GABLS, the focus has been on the examination of the representation of the stable boundary layer and the diurnal cycle over land in clear-sky conditions. For this purpose, single-column versions of weather and climate models have been compared with observations, research models, and large-eddy simulations. The intercomparison cases are based on observations taken in the Arctic, Kansas, and Cabauw in the Netherlands. From these studies, we find that even for the noncloudy boundary layer important parameterization challenges remain.
SB acknowledges the financial support received from the NationalScience Foundation by way of Grant AGS-1122315.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2013, pp. 1691 - 1706