In this study, a WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) model is used as a cloud-resolving model to simulate a squall line observed on 20 May 2011 in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) of the United States. The model output is then used to examine the relationships between convective precipitation and coarse-grained variables averaged over a range of subdomain sizes equivalent to various global climate model horizontal resolutions. The objective is to determine to what extent convection within the subdomains can be related to these “large-scale” variables, thus that they can potentially serve as closure in convective parameterization. Results show that convective precipitation is well correlated with the vertical velocity at 500 hPa, column integrated moisture convergence and CAPE change due to large-scale advective forcing (dCAPE) for various subdomain sizes, but the correlation decreases with decreasing subdomain size. dCAPE leads convective precipitation for all subdomain sizes examined; however, the lead time decreases with decreasing subdomain size. Moisture convergence leads convective precipitation for subdomain sizes greater than 32 km but has no lead time for smaller subdomain sizes. Mid-tropospheric vertical velocity has no lead time or slightly lags convective precipitation. The lead/lag composite analysis with respect to maximum precipitation time indicates that peaks of large-scale variables increase with decreasing subdomain size. The peaks of 500 hPa vertical velocity and column integrated moisture convergence occur at the same time as maximum precipitation, but maximum dCAPE leads maximum precipitation by twelve minutes.
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