Simulation of mixed-phase clouds with the ICON large-eddy model in the complex Arctic environment around Ny-Ålesund
Low-level mixed-phase clouds have a substantial impact on the redistribution of radiative energy in the Arctic and are a potential driving factor in Arctic amplification. To better understand the complex processes around mixed-phase clouds, a combination of long-term measurements and high-resolution modeling able to resolve the relevant processes is essential. In this study, we show the general feasibility of the new high-resolution icosahedral nonhydrostatic large-eddy model (ICON-LEM) to capture the general structure, type and timing of mixed-phase clouds at the Arctic site Ny-Ålesund and its potential and limitations for further detailed research. To serve as a basic evaluation, the model is confronted with data streams of single instruments including a microwave radiometer and cloud radar and also with value-added products like the CloudNet classification. The analysis is based on a 11 d long time period with selected periods studied in more detail focusing on the representation of particular cloud processes, such as mixed-phase microphysics. In addition, targeted statistical evaluations against observational data sets are performed to assess (i) how well the vertical structure of the clouds is represented and (ii) how much information is added by higher horizontal resolutions. The results clearly demonstrate the advantage of high resolutions. In particular, with the highest horizontal model resolution of 75 m, the variability of the liquid water path can be well captured. By comparing neighboring grid cells for different subdomains, we also show the potential of the model to provide information on the representativity of single sites (such as Ny-Ålesund) for a larger domain.