Impact of Cloud Analysis on Numerical Weather Prediction in the Galician Region of Spain

M. J. Souto Group of Nonlinear Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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C. F. Balseiro Group of Nonlinear Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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V. Pérez-Muñuzuri Group of Nonlinear Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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M. Xue School of Meteorology and Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

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K. Brewster Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

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Abstract

The Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) is applied to operational numerical weather prediction in Galicia, northwest Spain. The model is run daily for 72-h forecasts at a 10-km horizontal spacing. Located on the northwest coast of Spain and influenced by the Atlantic weather systems, Galicia has a high percentage (nearly 50%) of rainy days per year. For these reasons, the precipitation processes and the initialization of moisture and cloud fields are very important. Even though the ARPS model has a sophisticated data analysis system (“ADAS”) that includes a 3D cloud analysis package, because of operational constraints, the current forecast starts from the 12-h forecast of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Aviation Model (AVN). Still, procedures from the ADAS cloud analysis are being used to construct the cloud fields based on AVN data and then are applied to initialize the microphysical variables in ARPS. Comparisons of the ARPS predictions with local observations show that ARPS can predict very well both the daily total precipitation and its spatial distribution. ARPS also shows skill in predicting heavy rains and high winds, as observed during November 2000, and especially in the prediction of the 5 November 2000 storm that caused widespread wind and rain damage in Galicia. It is demonstrated that the cloud analysis contributes to the success of the precipitation forecasts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. M. J. Souto, Group of Nonlinear Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela, E-15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. uscfamsa@cesga.es

Abstract

The Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) is applied to operational numerical weather prediction in Galicia, northwest Spain. The model is run daily for 72-h forecasts at a 10-km horizontal spacing. Located on the northwest coast of Spain and influenced by the Atlantic weather systems, Galicia has a high percentage (nearly 50%) of rainy days per year. For these reasons, the precipitation processes and the initialization of moisture and cloud fields are very important. Even though the ARPS model has a sophisticated data analysis system (“ADAS”) that includes a 3D cloud analysis package, because of operational constraints, the current forecast starts from the 12-h forecast of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Aviation Model (AVN). Still, procedures from the ADAS cloud analysis are being used to construct the cloud fields based on AVN data and then are applied to initialize the microphysical variables in ARPS. Comparisons of the ARPS predictions with local observations show that ARPS can predict very well both the daily total precipitation and its spatial distribution. ARPS also shows skill in predicting heavy rains and high winds, as observed during November 2000, and especially in the prediction of the 5 November 2000 storm that caused widespread wind and rain damage in Galicia. It is demonstrated that the cloud analysis contributes to the success of the precipitation forecasts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. M. J. Souto, Group of Nonlinear Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela, E-15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. uscfamsa@cesga.es

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