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Rich F. Coleman
James F. Drake
Michael D. McAtee
, and
Leslie O. Belsma


Mesoscale forecasts for the Los Angeles basin made with the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5) exhibited a moderate to substantial warm temperature bias for extended periods in the summer months. A similar bias also was thought to exist in forecasts made using version 2.2 of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF v2.2). To address these biases, two sources of anthropogenic moisture were analyzed: commercial irrigation and outdoor domestic water use. These represent substantial amounts of equivalent precipitation that are not accounted for in normal WRF execution. This is especially true for the summer months when little or no precipitation occurs in the area. A method for estimating the temporal and spatial distributions of these two sources was developed and the resulting database was applied to model runs. The addition of these anthropogenic moisture sources is an important source of enthalpy, which results in significant cooling in WRF. However, in the course of the analysis it was determined that the biases in WRF were much smaller than had been thought. Also, despite producing significant cooling, the addition of anthropogenic moisture made only modest improvements in forecast skill, and only for some hours of the day, indicating that more research is necessary on how the physical processes are handled in WRF, and how the anthropogenic moisture is distributed during the forecast period.

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