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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015, Article ID 973151, 16 pages
Research Article

Numerical Simulations of the 1 May 2012 Deep Convection Event over Cuba: Sensitivity to Cumulus and Microphysical Schemes in a High-Resolution Model

1Instituto de Meteorología, Apartado 17032, 11700 La Habana, Cuba
2Uni Research Climate, The Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Allégaten 55, 5007 Bergen, Norway

Received 23 April 2015; Revised 14 July 2015; Accepted 16 July 2015

Academic Editor: Adel Hanna

Copyright © 2015 Yandy G. Mayor and Michel D. S. Mesquita. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper evaluates the sensitivity to cumulus and microphysics schemes, as represented in numerical simulations of the Weather Research and Forecasting model, in characterizing a deep convection event over the Cuban island on 1 May 2012. To this end, 30 experiments combining five cumulus and six microphysics schemes, in addition to two experiments in which the cumulus parameterization was turned off, are tested in order to choose the combination that represents the event precipitation more accurately. ERA Interim is used as lateral boundary condition data for the downscaling procedure. Results show that convective schemes are more important than microphysics schemes for determining the precipitation areas within a high-resolution domain simulation. Also, while one cumulus scheme captures the overall spatial convective structure of the event more accurately than others, it fails to capture the precipitation intensity. This apparent discrepancy leads to sensitivity related to the verification method used to rank the scheme combinations. This sensitivity is also observed in a comparison between parameterized and explicit cumulus formation when the Kain-Fritsch scheme was used. A loss of added value is also found when the Grell-Freitas cumulus scheme was activated at 1 km grid spacing.