DOI: 10.1029/2023gl104672 ISSN:

Impact of Domain Size on Tropical Precipitation Within Explicit Convection Simulations

Richard W. Jones, Claudio Sanchez, Huw Lewis, James Warner, Stuart Webster, Joshua Macholl
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Geophysics


We investigate the sensitivity of modeled tropical precipitation accumulation, intensity and structures to the extent of convection‐permitting limited area model (LAM) domain size. Our comparison focusses on two LAM domains, with identical physical parameterization schemes and using 2.2 km grid spacing. One LAM domain spans almost the full tropical belt while the other focusses on southeast Asia. We show that the LAMs both capture the complex diurnal cycle of precipitation and that the timing and intensity of precipitation are comparable with satellite observations. Systematic differences between the LAMs are largest within ∼1,000 km of the western and eastern boundaries of the southeast Asia LAM. This is due to convective spin‐up at the western boundary of the southeast Asia LAM and a lack of propagating deep convection. We highlight that showing the added value of global storm‐resolving models by comparing with LAMs will help to accelerate their operational implementation.

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