Improving Model Microphysics

Even with increasing model resolution, there are still substantial problems with the moist microphysics in numerical weather prediction models.  Typically, there is too much snow aloft and too little precipitation on the windward slopes of coastal mountain barriers such as the Olympics.

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Currently, my group is working on this problems using the extraordinary data sets made available from the OLYMPEX field experiment.  Graduate student Robert Conrick is using the unique observations available during that period, as sell as traditional observing systems, to carefully evaluate the moist microphysics in the WRF model.  We have documented a number of issues and our future work will deal with solutions, particularly for warm rain processes along the windward side of the coastal mountains of the U.S. West Coast.

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