Effect of time step size in MM5 simulations of a mesoscale convective system

M. Xu, J. W. Bao, T. T. Warner, D. J. Stensrud

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Results from simulations of a mesoscale convective system (MCS) that occurred in a weakly forced large-scale environment show significant sensitivity to the time step size chosen for model integration. As the time step is decreased, the movement and longevity of the simulated MCS depart further from the observations. It is found that the time step-dependent formulation of the numerical diffusivity is responsible for a major part of this sensitivity in the simulated MCS. The changes contributed by truncation errors may or may not be negligible, depending on the physics schemes used in the simulations. This suggests that the choice of a specific linearly stable model time step, in combination with the definition of the numerical diffusivity, may at times be as important as the choice of the basic model configuration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-516
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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