Mesoscale model simulation of a severe summer Thunderstorm in The Netherlands: Performance and uncertainty assessment for parameterised and resolved convection

Gert Jan Steeneveld*, Esther E.M. Peerlings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

On the evening of 23 June 2016 around 18:00 UTC, a mesoscale convective system (MCS) with hail and wind gusts passed the southern province Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands, and caused 675 millions of euros damage. This study evaluates the performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting model with three cumulus parameterisation schemes (Betts-Miller-Janjic, Grell-Freitas and Kain-Fritsch) on a grid spacing of 4 km in the 'grey-zone' and with explicitly resolved convection at 2 and 4 km grid spacing. The results of the five experiments are evaluated against observations of accumulated rainfall, maximum radar reflectivity, the CAPE evolution and wind speed. The results show that the Betts-Miller-Janjic scheme is activated too early and can therefore not predict any MCS over the region of interest. The Grell-Freitas and Kain-Fritsch schemes do predict an MCS, but its intensity is underestimated. With the explicit convection, the model is able to resolve the storm, though with a delay and an overestimated intensity. We also study whether spatial uncertainty in soil moisture is scaled up differently using parameterised or explicitly resolved convection. We find that the uncertainty in soil moisture distribution results in larger uncertainty in convective activity in the runs with explicit convection and the Grell-Freitas scheme, while the Kain-Fritsch and Betts-Miller-Janjic scheme clearly present a smaller variability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number811
JournalAtmosphere
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Cumulus parameterisation
  • Grey zone
  • Mesoscale convective system
  • The Netherlands
  • WRF model

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