Evaluation of the Surface Wind Field over Land in WRF Simulations of Hurricane Wilma (2005). Part I: Model Initialization and Simulation Validation

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  • 1 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL
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Abstract

While global and regional dynamical models are used to predict the tracks and intensities of hurricanes over the ocean, these models are not currently used to predict the wind field and other impacts over land. This two-part study performs detailed evaluations of the near-surface, over-land wind fields produced in simulations of Hurricane Wilma (2005) as it traveled across South Florida. This first part describes the production of two high-resolution simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), using different boundary layer parameterizations available in WRF: the Mellor-Yamada-Janjić (MYJ) scheme and the Yonsei University (YSU) scheme. Initial conditions from the Global Forecasting System (GFS) are manipulated with a vortex bogussing technique to modify the initial intensity, size, and location of the cyclone. It is found possible through trial and error to successfully produce simulations using both the YSU and MYJ schemes that closely reproduce the track, intensity, and size of Wilma at landfall. For both schemes the storm size and structure also show good agreement with the wind fields diagnosed by H*WIND and the Tropical Cyclone Surface Wind Analysis (TCSWA). Both over water and over land, the YSU scheme has stronger winds over larger areas than MYJ, but the surface winds are more reduced in areas of greater surface roughness, particularly in urban areas. Both schemes produced very similar inflow angles over land and water. The over-land wind fields are examined in more detail in the second part of this study.

Corresponding author address: Prof. David S. Nolan, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149; email: dnolan@rsmas.miami.edu

Abstract

While global and regional dynamical models are used to predict the tracks and intensities of hurricanes over the ocean, these models are not currently used to predict the wind field and other impacts over land. This two-part study performs detailed evaluations of the near-surface, over-land wind fields produced in simulations of Hurricane Wilma (2005) as it traveled across South Florida. This first part describes the production of two high-resolution simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), using different boundary layer parameterizations available in WRF: the Mellor-Yamada-Janjić (MYJ) scheme and the Yonsei University (YSU) scheme. Initial conditions from the Global Forecasting System (GFS) are manipulated with a vortex bogussing technique to modify the initial intensity, size, and location of the cyclone. It is found possible through trial and error to successfully produce simulations using both the YSU and MYJ schemes that closely reproduce the track, intensity, and size of Wilma at landfall. For both schemes the storm size and structure also show good agreement with the wind fields diagnosed by H*WIND and the Tropical Cyclone Surface Wind Analysis (TCSWA). Both over water and over land, the YSU scheme has stronger winds over larger areas than MYJ, but the surface winds are more reduced in areas of greater surface roughness, particularly in urban areas. Both schemes produced very similar inflow angles over land and water. The over-land wind fields are examined in more detail in the second part of this study.

Corresponding author address: Prof. David S. Nolan, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149; email: dnolan@rsmas.miami.edu
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