North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program
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RCM Characteristics
 

Major Characteristics of Regional Climate Models Participating in NARCCAP

CRCM ECPC/ECP2 HRM3 MM5I RCM3 WRFP/WRFG
Dynamics Nonhydrostatic, Compressible Hydrostatic, Incompressible Hydrostatic, Compressible Nonhydrostatic, Compressible Hydrostatic, Compressible Nonhydrostatic, Compressible
Lateral Boundary Treatment 9 points (Davies 1976); spectral nudging of horizontal wind. Perturbations relaxed at boundaries; spectral filter 4 points (Davies and Turner 1977) 4 points (linear relaxation) 12 points (exponential relaxation) 15 grid points (exponential relaxation)
Land Surface CLASS NOAH MOSES NOAH BATS NOAH
Thermal/Water Layers 3/3 4/4 4/4 4/4 1/3 4/4
Vegetation Types 21 vegetation classes 13 classes 53 classes (Wilson and Henderson- Sellers 1985) 16 classes from USGS SiB model 19 classes 24 classes from USGS
Boundary Layer Local K, gradient Richardson number formulation Hong-Pan non-local K First order turbulent mixing Hong-Pan (MRF) countergradient, non-local K Non-local K, countergradient flux Yonsei Univ. (explicit entrainment)
Explicit Moist Physics Removal of supersaturation Removal of supersaturation Prognostic cloud liquid and ice; liquid potential temperature Dudhia simple ice SUBEX, prognostic cloud water Prognostic cloud liquid and ice, rain, snow
Cumulus Parameterization Mass Flux Simplified Arawaka- Schubert Mass Flux, including downdraft Kain- Fritsch2 mass flux Grell with Fritsch- Chappell closure Kain- Fritsch2 mass flux [WRFP] / Grell [WRFG]
Number of Vertical Levels 29 28 19 23 18 35
Type of Vertical Coordinate Gal-Chen scaled-height Normalized pressure Hybrid terrain following & pressure Sigma Terrain following Terrain following
Original Grid Size* 160 x 135 193 x 152 171 x 146 154 x 129 160 x 130 155 x 130
Sponge Zone Depth (pts)** 10 23 (x) / 18 (y) 8 15 13 10.5
Length of Timestep 900 Seconds 100 seconds 300 Seconds 120 seconds 150 Seconds 150 seconds
tasmin/tasmax Calculation*** timestep timestep timestep timestep 3-hourly hourly
Spectral Nudging Yes Yes No No No No
Longwave Radiation Scheme Morcrette (1984) Chou and Suarez (1994) PRECIS RRTM CCM3 CAM3
Shortwave Radiation scheme Fouquart and Bonnel (1980) Chou (1992) PRECIS MM5 cloud scheme
(not CCM2)
CCM3 CAM3
Uniform Aerosols? No Yes No Yes Yes Yes*
*(ozone varies)

* Original Grid Size: The original ECPC run had a smaller domain, 161 x 136, with a spong depth of 7 / 10.

** Sponge Zone Depth: Values given are depth along each edge. Total points removed from each dimension are twice the given values.

*** tasmin/tasmax Calculation: the frequency of the values from which daily minimum and maximum temperature values (variables tasmin and tasmax) are calculated. "Timestep" means that min and max values are updated on every internal timestep of the model. "Hourly" and "3-hourly" mean that min and max are calculated from tas values recorded at hourly/3-hourly intervals.

 
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