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Dataset associated with "Cold pool responses to changes in soil moisture"




Drager, Aryeh Jacob
Grant, Leah D
van den Heever, Susan C

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This study examines the role of soil moisture in modulating convective cold pool properties in an idealized modeling framework that uses a cloud-resolving model coupled to an interactive land surface model. Four high-resolution simulations of tropical continental convection are conducted in which the initial soil moisture is varied. The hundreds of cold pools forming within each simulation are identified and composited across space and time using an objective cold pool identification algorithm. Based on the results, a theory for the impacts of soil moisture on cold pools is developed. Lower soil moisture results in greater daytime heating of the surface, which produces a deeper, drier subcloud layer. As a result, latent cooling by the evaporation of precipitation is enhanced, and cold pools are stronger and deeper. Increased propagation speed, combined with wider rain shafts, results in wider cold pools. Finally, the rings of enhanced water vapor that surround each cold pool when soil is wet disappear when the soil moisture is reduced, due to the suppression of surface latent heat fluxes. Instead "puddles" of enhanced water vapor permeate the cold pools. The results are nonlinear in that the properties of the cold pools in the driest-soil simulation depart substantially from the cold pool properties in the three simulations initialized with wetter soil. The dividing line between the resulting wet-soil and dry-soil regimes appears to be the permanent wilting point, below which transpiration is subdued. These results emphasize the role of land surface-boundary layer-cloud interactions in modulating cold pool properties.


The dataset includes the following: 1) Release 6.2.08 of the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS), which was used to conduct the simulations analyzed in the associated manuscript; 2) Modified RAMS source code and scripts necessary to reproduce the simulations; 3) MATLAB analysis scripts and functions for analyzing the data; and 4) A README file with additional details about the contents of the dataset and instructions for running the RAMS model and analysis scripts.
Department of Atmospheric Science

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cold pools
soil moisture
atmospheric convection
tropical convection
convective processes
cloud processes
density currents
gravity currents
land-atmosphere interactions
boundary-layer processes


Associated Publications

Drager, A. J., Grant, L. D., & van den Heever, S. C. (2020). Cold Pool Responses to Changes in Soil Moisture. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems,