Updates in the NCEP GFS Cumulus Convection Schemes with Scale and Aerosol Awareness Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract; The current operational NCEP Global Forecast System (GFS) cumulus convection schemes are updated with a scale-aware parameterization where the cloud mass flux decreases with increasing grid resolution. The ratio of advective time to convective turnover time is also taken into account for the scale-aware parameterization. In addition, the present deep cumulus convection closure using the quasi-equilibrium assumption is no longer used for grid sizes smaller than a threshold value. For the shallow cumulus convection scheme, the cloud-base mass flux is modified to be given by a function of mean updraft velocity. A simple aerosol-aware parameterization where rain conversion in the convective updraft is modified by aerosol number concentration is also included in the update. Along with the scale- and aerosol-aware parameterizations, more changes are made to the schemes. The cloud-base mass-flux computation in the deep convection scheme is modified to use convective turnover time as the convective adjustment time scale. The rain conversion rate is modified to decrease with decreasing air temperature above the freezing level. Convective inhibition in the subcloud layer is used as an additional trigger condition. Convective cloudiness is enhanced by considering suspended cloud condensate in the updraft. The lateral entrainment in the deep convection scheme is also enhanced to more strongly suppress convection in a drier environment. The updated NCEP GFS cumulus convection schemes display significant improvements especially in the summertime continental U.S. precipitation forecasts.

publication date

  • October 1, 2017

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • June 16, 2021 7:00 AM

Full Author List

  • Han J; Wang W; Kwon YC; Hong S-Y; Tallapragada V; Yang F

author count

  • 6

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0882-8156

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-0434

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2005

end page

  • 2017


  • 32


  • 5