Diurnal Variation in Precipitation over India during the Summer Monsoon Season: Observed and Model Predicted

B. K. Basu NCMRWF, New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, Utter Pradesh, India

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Abstract

Satellite-derived hourly precipitation values over India and neighboring areas are examined during the summer monsoon season of 2004 to determine the observed patterns of diurnal variations. These are compared with the patterns found in the forecasts from the global spectral model in operation at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting in India. The observed hourly precipitation shows that maximum amounts are recorded over most areas of India during the afternoon hours, coinciding with the maximum in surface temperature. This pattern is modified in areas where local mesoscale events like katabatic winds or land–sea breezes produce strong convergence patterns and associated convection. The model forecasts weaken the mesoscale effects on precipitation and the convection due to ground heating seems to start in the model 2–3 h before the time it is observed by the satellites. The frequency and amount of precipitation increases with the forecast length but the hour of maximum precipitation remains almost the same. Harmonic analysis of the frequency of observed precipitation shows that the diurnal cycle predominates in both magnitude and the amount of variance explained. The semidiurnal cycle is considerably smaller in magnitude and explains significant variance only over a small area. Other cycles of smaller periodicity are unimportant in the diurnal variation of precipitation. A similar result is also obtained for the model forecasts except that the spatial distributions of amplitude and variance explained are different from that obtained from the observed data. The spatial distribution and values remain almost the same with forecast length.

Corresponding author address: B. K. Basu, NCMRWF, A-50, Institutional Area, Sector-62, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh 201307, India. Email: bkbasu@ncmrwf.gov.in

Abstract

Satellite-derived hourly precipitation values over India and neighboring areas are examined during the summer monsoon season of 2004 to determine the observed patterns of diurnal variations. These are compared with the patterns found in the forecasts from the global spectral model in operation at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting in India. The observed hourly precipitation shows that maximum amounts are recorded over most areas of India during the afternoon hours, coinciding with the maximum in surface temperature. This pattern is modified in areas where local mesoscale events like katabatic winds or land–sea breezes produce strong convergence patterns and associated convection. The model forecasts weaken the mesoscale effects on precipitation and the convection due to ground heating seems to start in the model 2–3 h before the time it is observed by the satellites. The frequency and amount of precipitation increases with the forecast length but the hour of maximum precipitation remains almost the same. Harmonic analysis of the frequency of observed precipitation shows that the diurnal cycle predominates in both magnitude and the amount of variance explained. The semidiurnal cycle is considerably smaller in magnitude and explains significant variance only over a small area. Other cycles of smaller periodicity are unimportant in the diurnal variation of precipitation. A similar result is also obtained for the model forecasts except that the spatial distributions of amplitude and variance explained are different from that obtained from the observed data. The spatial distribution and values remain almost the same with forecast length.

Corresponding author address: B. K. Basu, NCMRWF, A-50, Institutional Area, Sector-62, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh 201307, India. Email: bkbasu@ncmrwf.gov.in

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