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Numerical Modelling of the Observed Diurnal Cycle of Indian Monsoon Rainfall

Sahany, S and Venugopal, V and Nanjundiah, RS (2009) Numerical Modelling of the Observed Diurnal Cycle of Indian Monsoon Rainfall. In: American Geophysical Union Fall Session, December 2009, San Francisco, USA.

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Abstract

We have analysed the diurnal cycle of rainfall over the Indian region (10S-35N, 60E-100E) using both satellite and in-situ data, and found many interesting features associated with this fundamental, yet under-explored, mode of variability. Since there is a distinct and strong diurnal mode of variability associated with the Indian summer monsoon rainfall, we evaluate the ability of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) to simulate the observed diurnal rainfall characteristics. The model (at 54km grid-spacing) is integrated for the month of July, 2006, since this period was particularly favourable for the study of diurnal cycle. We first evaluate the sensitivity of the model to the prescribed sea surface temperature (SST), by using two different SST datasets, namely, Final Analyses (FNL) and Real-time Global (RTG). It was found that with RTG SST the rainfall simulation over central India (CI) was significantly better than that with FNL. On the other hand, over the Bay of Bengal (BoB), rainfall simulated with FNL was marginally better than with RTG. However, the overall performance of RTG SST was found to be better than FNL, and hence it was used for further model simulations. Next, we investigated the role of the convective parameterization scheme on the simulation of diurnal cycle of rainfall. We found that the Kain-Fritsch (KF) scheme performs significantly better than Betts-Miller-Janjić (BMJ) and Grell-Devenyi schemes. We also studied the impact of other physical parameterizations, namely, microphysics, boundary layer, land surface, and the radiation parameterization, on the simulation of diurnal cycle of rainfall, and identified the “best” model configuration. We used this configuration of the “best” model to perform a sensitivity study on the role of various convective components used in the KF scheme. In particular, we studied the role of convective downdrafts, convective timescale, and feedback fraction, on the simulated diurnal cycle of rainfall. The “best” model simulations, in general, show a good agreement with observations. Specifically, (i) Over CI, the simulated diurnal rainfall peak is at 1430 IST, in comparison to the observed 1430-1730 IST peak; (ii) Over Western Ghats and Burmese mountains, the model simulates a diurnal rainfall peak at 1430 IST, as opposed to the observed peak of 1430-1730 IST; (iii) Over Sumatra, both model and observations show a diurnal peak at 1730 IST; (iv) The observed southward propagating diurnal rainfall bands over BoB are weakly simulated by WRF. Besides the diurnal cycle of rainfall, the mean spatial pattern of total rainfall and its partitioning between the convective and stratiform components, are also well simulated. The “best” model configuration was used to conduct two nested simulations with one-way, three-level nesting (54-18-6km) over CI and BoB. While, the 54km and 18km simulations were conducted for the whole of July, 2006, the 6km simulation was carried out for the period 18 - 24 July, 2006. The results of our coarse- and fine-scale numerical simulations of the diurnal cycle of monsoon rainfall will be discussed.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 11:12
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2011 11:12
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/40055

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