Implementation of non-local boundary layer schemes in the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System and its impact on simulated mesoscale circulations

I. Gómez*, R.J. Ronda, V. Caselles, M.J. Estrela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes the implementation of different non-local Planetary Boundary Layer schemes within the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) model. The two selected PBL parameterizations are the Medium-Range Forecast (MRF) PBL and its updated version, known as the Yonsei University (YSU) PBL. YSU is a first-order scheme that uses non-local eddy diffusivity coefficients to compute turbulent fluxes. It is based on the MRF, and improves it with an explicit treatment of the entrainment. With the aim of evaluating the RAMS results for these PBL parameterizations, a series of numerical simulations have been performed and contrasted with the results obtained using the Mellor and Yamada (MY) scheme, also widely used, and the standard PBL scheme in the RAMS model. The numerical study carried out here is focused on mesoscale circulation events during the summer, as these meteorological situations dominate this season of the year in the Western Mediterranean coast. In addition, the sensitivity of these PBL parameterizations to the initial soil moisture content is also evaluated. The results show a warmer and moister PBL for the YSU scheme compared to both MRF and MY. The model presents as well a tendency to overestimate the observed temperature and to underestimate the observed humidity, considering all PBL schemes and a low initial soil moisture content. In addition, the bias between the model and the observations is significantly reduced moistening the initial soil moisture of the corresponding run. Thus, varying this parameter has a positive effect and improves the simulated results in relation to the observations. However, there is still a significant overestimation of the wind speed over flatter terrain, independently of the PBL scheme and the initial soil moisture used, even though a different degree of accuracy is reproduced by RAMS taking into account the different sensitivity tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-41
JournalAtmospheric Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Boundary layer
  • Mesoscale modelling
  • Non-local schemes
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • PBL parameterization
  • RAMS model


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