Sensitivity of Forecast Uncertainty to Different Microphysics Schemes within a Convection-Allowing Ensemble during SoWMEX-IOP8

Chin Hung Chen, Kao Shen Chung, Shu Chih Yang, Li Hsin Chen, Pay Liam Lin, Ryan D. Torn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A mesoscale convective system that occurred in southwestern Taiwan on 15 June 2008 is simulated using convection-allowing ensemble forecasts to investigate the forecast uncertainty associated with four microphysics schemes—the Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE), Morrison (MOR), WRF single-moment 6-class (WSM6), and WRF double-moment 6-class (WDM6) schemes. First, the essential features of the convective structure, hydrometeor distribution, and microphysical tendencies for the different microphysics schemes are presented through deterministic forecasts. Second, ensemble forecasts with the same initial conditions are employed to estimate the forecast uncertainty produced by the different ensembles with the fixed microphysics scheme. GCE has the largest spread in most state variables due to its most efficient phase conversion between water species. By contrast, MOR results in the least spread. WSM6 and WDM6 have similar vertical spread structures due to their similar ice-phase formulas. However, WDM6 produces more ensemble spread than WSM6 does below the melting layer, resulting from its double-moment treatment of warm rain processes. The model simulations with the four microphysics schemes demonstrate upscale error growth through spectrum analysis of the root-mean difference total energy (RMDTE). The RMDTE results reveal that the GCE and WDM6 schemes are more sensitive to initial condition uncertainty, whereas the MOR and WSM6 schemes are relatively less sensitive to that for this event. Overall, the diabatic heating–cooling processes connect the convective-scale cloud microphysical processes to the large-scale dynamical and thermodynamical fields, and they significantly affect the forecast error signatures in the multiscale weather system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4145-4166
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Cloud microphysics
  • Cloud parameterizations
  • Ensembles
  • Mesoscale forecasting
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting


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