A versatile workstation version of the NCEP Eta Model is used to simulate three excessive precipitation episodes in the central United States. These events all resulted in damaging flash flooding and include 16-17 June 1996 in the upper Midwest, 17 July 1996 in western Iowa, and 27 May 1997 in Texas. The episodes reflect a wide range of meteorological situations: (i) a warm core cyclone in June 1996 generated a meso-Î²-scale region of excessive rainfall from echo training in its warm sector while producing excessive overrunning rainfall to the north of its warm front, (ii) a mesoscale convective complex in July 1996 produced excessive rainfall, and (iii) tornadic thunderstorms in May 1997 resulted in small-scale excessive rains. Model sensitivity to horizontal resolution is investigated using a range of horizontal resolutions comparable to those used in operational and quasi-operational forecasting models. Sensitivity tests are also performed using both the Betts-Miller-Janjic convective scheme (operational at NCEP in 1998) and the Kain-Fritsch scheme. Variations in predicted peak precipitation as resolution is refined are found to be highly case dependent, suggesting forecaster interpretation of increasingly higher resolution model quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) information will not be straightforward. In addition, precipitation forecasts and QPF response to changing resolution are both found to vary significantly with choice of convective parameterization.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/william_gallus/38/