The Influence of Soil Moisture, Coastline Curvature, and Land-Breeze Circulations on Sea-Breeze-Initiated Precipitation
Journal of Hydrometeorology
Idealized numerical simulations are performed with a coupled atmosphere/land-surface model to identify the roles of initial soil moisture, coastline curvature, and land breeze circulations on sea breeze initiated precipitation. Data collected on 27 July 1991 during the Convection and Precipitation Electrification Experiment (CaPE) in central Florida are used. The 3D Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) cloud resolving model is coupled with the Goddard Parameterization for Land-Atmosphere-Cloud
... e (PLACE) land surface model, thus providing a tool to simulate more realistically land-surface/atmosphere interaction and convective initiation. Eight simulations are conducted with either straight or curved coastlines, initially homogeneous soil moisture or initially variable soil moisture, and initially homogeneous horizontal winds or initially variable horizontal winds (land breezes). All model simulations capture the diurnal evolution and general distribution of sea-breeze initiated precipitation over central Florida. The distribution of initial soil moisture influences the timing, intensity, and location of subsequent precipitation. Soil moisture acts as a moisture source for the atmosphere, increases the convectively available potential energy, and thus preferentially focuses heavy precipitation over existing wet soil. Strong soil moistureinduced mesoscale circulations are not evident in these simulations. Coastline curvature has a major impact on the timing and location of precipitation. Earlier low-level convergence occurs inland of convex coastlines, and subsequent precipitation occurs earlier in simulations with curved coastlines. The presence of initial land breezes alone has little impact on subsequent precipitation. However, simulations with both coastline curvature and initial land breezes produce significantly larger peak rain rates due to nonlinear interactions.