A new vertical diffusion package with an explicit treatment of entrainment processes

Song You Hong, Yign Noh, Jimy Dudhia

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5166 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a revised vertical diffusion package with a nonlocal turbulent mixing coefficient in the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Based on the study of Noh et al. and accumulated results of the behavior of the Hong and Pan algorithm, a revised vertical diffusion algorithm that is suitable for weather forecasting and climate prediction models is developed. The major ingredient of the revision is the inclusion of an explicit treatment of entrainment processes at the top of the PBL. The new diffusion package is called the Yonsei University PBL (YSU PBL). In a one-dimensional offline test framework, the revised scheme is found to improve several features compared with the Hong and Pan implementation. The YSU PBL increases boundary layer mixing in the thermally induced free convection regime and decreases it in the mechanically induced forced convection regime, which alleviates the well-known problems in the Medium-Range Forecast (MRF) PBL. Excessive mixing in the mixed layer in the presence of strong winds is resolved. Overly rapid growth of the PBL in the case of the Hong and Pan is also rectified. The scheme has been successfully implemented in the Weather Research and Forecast model producing a more realistic structure of the PBL and its development. In a case study of a frontal tornado outbreak, it is found that some systematic biases of the large-scale features such as an afternoon cold bias at 850 hPa in the MRF PBL are resolved. Consequently, the new scheme does a better job in reproducing the convective inhibition. Because the convective inhibition is accurately predicted, widespread light precipitation ahead of a front, in the case of the MRF PBL, is reduced. In the frontal region, the YSU PBL scheme improves some characteristics, such as a double line of intense convection. This is because the boundary layer from the YSU PBL scheme remains less diluted by entrainment leaving more fuel for severe convection when the front triggers it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2318-2341
Number of pages24
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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