Limited-area atmospheric modeling using an unstructured mesh

William C. Skamarock, Michael G. Duda, Soyoung Ha, Sang Hun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A regional configuration of the atmospheric component of theModel for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS-A) is described and evaluated. It employs horizontally unstructured spherical centroidal Voronoi meshes (nominally hexagonal), and lateral boundary conditions used in rectangular grid regionalmodels are adapted to theMPAS-A Voronoi mesh discretization. Test results using a perfect-model assumption show that the lateral boundary conditions are stable and robust.As found in other regionalmodeling studies, configurations using larger regional domains generally have smaller solution errors compared to configurations employing smaller regional domains. MPAS-A supports variable-resolution meshes, and when regional domains are expanded to include a coarser outer mesh, the variable-resolution configurations recover most of the error reduction compared to a configuration using uniform high resolution, and at much-reduced cost. The wider relaxation-zone region of the variableresolution mesh also helps reconcile differences near the lateral boundary that evolve between the regionalmodel solution and the driving solution, and the configuration is more stable than one using a uniform high-resolution regional mesh. At convection-permitting resolution, solutions produced using global variable-resolution MPAS-A configurations have smaller solution errors than the regional configurations after about 48 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3445-3460
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. We would like to acknowledge support for this work from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology Information under Grants C16016 and MMM17313. Computing support for this work was provided by NCAR’s Computational and Information Systems Laboratory. We would also like to acknowledge the three anonymous reviewers of this paper for helping to improve the manuscript. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Meteorological Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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