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Daniel Argüeso, José M. Hidalgo-Muñoz, Sonia R. Gámiz-Fortis, María Jesús Esteban-Parra, Jimy Dudhia, and Yolanda Castro-Díez

Abstract

This paper evaluates the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) sensitivity to eight different combinations of cumulus, microphysics, and planetary boundary layer (PBL) parameterization schemes over a topographically complex region in southern Spain (Andalusia) for the period 1990–99. The WRF configuration consisted of a 10-km-resolution domain nested in a coarser domain driven by 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data, with spectral nudging above the PBL employed over the latter domain. The model outputs have been compared at different time scales with an observational dataset that comprises 438 rain gauges and 152 temperature stations with records of both daily maximum and minimum temperatures. To reduce the “representation error,” the validation with observations has been performed using a multistep regionalization that distinguishes five precipitation regions and four temperature regions.

The analysis proves that both cumulus and PBL schemes have a crucial impact on the description of precipitation in Andalusia, whereas no noticeable differences between microphysics options were appreciated. Temperature is described similarly by all the configurations, except for the PBL choice affecting minimum values.

WRF provides a definite improvement over ERA-40 in the climate description in terms of frequency, spatial distribution, and intensity of extreme events. It also captures more accurately the annual cycle and reduces the biases and the RMSE for monthly precipitation, whereas only a minor enhancement of these features was obtained for monthly-mean maximum and minimum temperatures. The results indicate that WRF is able to correctly reproduce Andalusian climate and produces useful added-value information for climate studies.

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Pedro A. Jiménez, J. Fidel González-Rouco, Elena García-Bustamante, Jorge Navarro, Juan P. Montávez, Jordi Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Jimy Dudhia, and Antonio Muñoz-Roldan

Abstract

This study analyzes the daily-mean surface wind variability over an area characterized by complex topography through comparing observations and a 2-km-spatial-resolution simulation performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model for the period 1992–2005. The evaluation focuses on the performance of the simulation to reproduce the wind variability within subregions identified from observations over the 1999–2002 period in a previous study. By comparing with wind observations, the model results show the ability of the WRF dynamical downscaling over a region of complex terrain. The higher spatiotemporal resolution of the WRF simulation is used to evaluate the extent to which the length of the observational period and the limited spatial coverage of observations condition one’s understanding of the wind variability over the area. The subregions identified with the simulation during the 1992–2005 period are similar to those identified with observations (1999–2002). In addition, the reduced number of stations reasonably represents the spatial wind variability over the area. However, the analysis of the full spatial dimension simulated by the model suggests that observational coverage could be improved in some subregions. The approach adopted here can have a direct application to the design of observational networks.

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Roy Rasmussen, Kyoko Ikeda, Changhai Liu, David Gochis, Martyn Clark, Aiguo Dai, Ethan Gutmann, Jimy Dudhia, Fei Chen, Mike Barlage, David Yates, and Guo Zhang

Abstract

A high-resolution climate model (4-km horizontal grid spacing) is used to examine the following question: How will long-term changes in climate impact the partitioning of annual precipitation between evapotranspiration and runoff in the Colorado Headwaters?

This question is examined using a climate sensitivity approach in which eight years of current climate is compared to a future climate created by modifying the current climate signal with perturbation from the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3), model forced by the A1B scenario for greenhouse gases out to 2050. The current climate period is shown to agree well with Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) surface observations of precipitation (P) and snowpack, as well as streamflow and AmeriFlux evapotranspiration (ET) observations. The results show that the annual evaporative fraction (ET/P) for the Colorado Headwaters is 0.81 for the current climate and 0.83 for the future climate, indicating increasing aridity in the future despite a positive increase of precipitation. Runoff decreased by an average of 6%, reflecting the increased aridity.

Precipitation increased in the future winter by 12%, but decreased in the summer as a result of increased low-level inhibition to convection. The fraction of precipitation that fell as snow decreased from 0.83 in the current climate to 0.74 in the future. Future snowpack did not change significantly until January. From January to March the snowpack increased above ~3000 m MSL and decreased below that level. Snowpack decreased at all elevations in the future from April to July. The peak snowpack and runoff over the headwaters occurred 2–3 weeks earlier in the future simulation, in agreement with previous studies.

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Anna C. Fitch, Joseph B. Olson, Julie K. Lundquist, Jimy Dudhia, Alok K. Gupta, John Michalakes, Idar Barstad, and Cristina L. Archer
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Qingnong Xiao, Ying-Hwa Kuo, Zaizhong Ma, Wei Huang, Xiang-Yu Huang, Xiaoyan Zhang, Dale M. Barker, John Michalakes, and Jimy Dudhia

Abstract

The tangent linear and adjoint of an adiabatic version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model with its Advanced Research WRF (ARW) dynamic core have been developed. The source-to-source automatic differentiation tool [i.e., the Transformation of Algorithm (TAF) in FORTRAN] was used in the development. Tangent linear and adjoint checks of the developed adiabatic WRF adjoint modeling system (WAMS) were conducted, and all necessary correctness verification procedures were passed. As the first application, the adiabatic WAMS was used to study the adjoint sensitivity of a severe windstorm in Antarctica. Linearity tests indicated that an adjoint-based sensitivity study with the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) 90-km domain configuration for the windstorm is valid up to 24 h. The adjoint-based sensitivity calculation with adiabatic WAMS identified sensitive regions for the improvement of the 24-h forecast of the windstorm. It is indicated that the windstorm forecast largely relies on the model initial conditions in the area from the south part of the Trans-Antarctic Mountains to West Antarctica and between the Ross Ice Shelf and the South Pole. Based on the sensitivity analysis, the southerly or southeasterly wind at lower levels in the sensitivity region should be larger, the cyclone should be stronger, and the atmospheric stratification should be more stable over the north slope of the Trans-Antarctic Mountain to the Ross Ice Shelf, than the AMPS analyses. By constructing pseudo-observations in the sensitivity region using the gradient information of forecast windstorm intensity around McMurdo, the model initial conditions are revised with the WRF three-dimensional variational data assimilation, which leads to significant improvement in the prediction of the windstorm. An adjoint sensitivity study is an efficient way to identify sensitivity regions in order to collect more observations in the region for better forecasts in a specific aspect of interest.

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Pedro A. Jimenez, Joshua P. Hacker, Jimy Dudhia, Sue Ellen Haupt, Jose A. Ruiz-Arias, Chris A. Gueymard, Gregory Thompson, Trude Eidhammer, and Aijun Deng

Abstract

WRF-Solar is a specific configuration and augmentation of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model designed for solar energy applications. Recent upgrades to the WRF Model contribute to making the model appropriate for solar power forecasting and comprise 1) developments to diagnose internally relevant atmospheric parameters required by the solar industry, 2) improved representation of aerosol–radiation feedback, 3) incorporation of cloud–aerosol interactions, and 4) improved cloud–radiation feedback. The WRF-Solar developments are presented together with a comprehensive characterization of the model performance for forecasting during clear skies. Performance is evaluated with numerical experiments using a range of different external and internal treatment of the atmospheric aerosols, including both a model-derived climatology of aerosol optical depth and temporally evolving aerosol optical properties from reanalysis products. The necessity of incorporating the influence of atmospheric aerosols to obtain accurate estimations of the surface shortwave irradiance components in clear-sky conditions is evident. Improvements of up to 58%, 76%, and 83% are found in global horizontal irradiance, direct normal irradiance, and diffuse irradiance, respectively, compared to a standard version of the WRF Model. Results demonstrate that the WRF-Solar model is an improved numerical tool for research and applications in support of solar energy.

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Pedro A. Jiménez, Jordi Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, J. Fidel González-Rouco, Jorge Navarro, Juan P. Montávez, Elena García-Bustamante, and Jimy Dudhia

Abstract

Variations in the diurnal wind pattern associated with heat waves and drought conditions are investigated climatologically at a regional level (northeast of the Iberian Peninsula). The study, based on high-density observational evidence and fine spatial-scale mesoscale modeling for the 1992–2004 period, shows that wind speed can decrease up to 22% under situations characterized by extremely high temperatures and severe drought, such as the European summer of 2003. By examining the role of the different atmospheric scales of motion that determine the wind diurnal variability, it is found that the 2003 synoptic conditions are the main driver for changes in the wind speed field. In turn, these changes are modulated by mesoscale circulations influenced by the soil moisture availability. The results have implications for broad regional modeling studies of current climate and climate change simulations in as much as the study demonstrates that a correct representation of local soil moisture conditions impacts atmospheric circulation and therefore the regional climate state.

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Sharanya J. Majumdar, Juanzhen Sun, Brian Golding, Paul Joe, Jimy Dudhia, Olivier Caumont, Krushna Chandra Gouda, Peter Steinle, Béatrice Vincendon, Jianjie Wang, and Nusrat Yussouf

Abstract

Improving the forecasting and communication of weather hazards such as urban floods and extreme winds has been recognized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as a priority for international weather research. The WMO has established a 10-yr High-Impact Weather Project (HIWeather) to address global challenges and accelerate progress on scientific and social solutions. In this review, key challenges in hazard forecasting are first illustrated and summarized via four examples of high-impact weather events. Following this, a synthesis of the requirements, current status, and future research in observations, multiscale data assimilation, multiscale ensemble forecasting, and multiscale coupled hazard modeling is provided.

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Jeffrey Beck, John Brown, Jimy Dudhia, David Gill, Tracy Hertneky, Joseph Klemp, Wei Wang, Christopher Williams, Ming Hu, Eric James, Jaymes Kenyon, Tanya Smirnova, and Jung-Hoon Kim

Abstract

A new hybrid, sigma-pressure vertical coordinate was recently added to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model in an effort to reduce numerical noise in the model equations near complex terrain. Testing of this hybrid, terrain-following coordinate was undertaken in the WRF-based Rapid Refresh (RAP) and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) models to assess impacts on retrospective and real-time simulations. Initial cold-start simulations indicated that the majority of differences between the hybrid and traditional sigma coordinate were confined to regions downstream of mountainous terrain and focused in the upper levels. Week-long retrospective simulations generally resulted in small improvements for the RAP, and a neutral impact in the HRRR when the hybrid coordinate was used. However, one possibility is that the inclusion of data assimilation in the experiments may have minimized differences between the vertical coordinates. Finally, analysis of turbulence forecasts with the new hybrid coordinate indicate a significant reduction in spurious vertical motion over the full length of the Rocky Mountains. Overall, the results indicate a potential to improve forecast metrics through implementation of the hybrid coordinate, particularly at upper levels, and downstream of complex terrain.

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Margaret A. LeMone, Wayne M. Angevine, Christopher S. Bretherton, Fei Chen, Jimy Dudhia, Evgeni Fedorovich, Kristina B. Katsaros, Donald H. Lenschow, Larry Mahrt, Edward G. Patton, Jielun Sun, Michael Tjernström, and Jeffrey Weil

Abstract

Over the last 100 years, boundary layer meteorology grew from the subject of mostly near-surface observations to a field encompassing diverse atmospheric boundary layers (ABLs) around the world. From the start, researchers drew from an ever-expanding set of disciplines—thermodynamics, soil and plant studies, fluid dynamics and turbulence, cloud microphysics, and aerosol studies. Research expanded upward to include the entire ABL in response to the need to know how particles and trace gases dispersed, and later how to represent the ABL in numerical models of weather and climate (starting in the 1970s–80s); taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by the development of large-eddy simulations (1970s), direct numerical simulations (1990s), and a host of instruments to sample the boundary layer in situ and remotely from the surface, the air, and space. Near-surface flux-profile relationships were developed rapidly between the 1940s and 1970s, when rapid progress shifted to the fair-weather convective boundary layer (CBL), though tropical CBL studies date back to the 1940s. In the 1980s, ABL research began to include the interaction of the ABL with the surface and clouds, the first ABL parameterization schemes emerged; and land surface and ocean surface model development blossomed. Research in subsequent decades has focused on more complex ABLs, often identified by shortcomings or uncertainties in weather and climate models, including the stable boundary layer, the Arctic boundary layer, cloudy boundary layers, and ABLs over heterogeneous surfaces (including cities). The paper closes with a brief summary, some lessons learned, and a look to the future.

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