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Details of Topography have influences on Weather Forecasts

Details of Topography have influences on Weather Forecasts

There are plenty of unused possibilities to really utilize the new sources of high resolution orography data in the high-resolution NWP models, for the model dynamics and subgrid-scale parametrizations, data assimilation and validation.

New fine-resolution surface elevation data was implemented into HARMONIE-AROME-SURFEX Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) system. The grid-scale mean orography, used as a basis of the model's terrain-following vertical coordinate, as well as variables for suggested new parameterizations of radiation and momentum fluxes were derived. Validation against the surface observations from the Sochi Winter Olympic Games 2014, provided by the WMO FROST-2014 program at the Caucasian mountains, showed minor degradation of the screen-level temperature forecast when only the source orography was updated. Implementation of the orographic radiation parameterizations allowed to alleviate the degradation of scores. Detailed sensitivity studies, done by using three-dimensional and single-column experiments, showed that substantial and physically realistic changes in the downweling short- and long-wave radiation fluxes took place locally. However, their influence on the the simulated screen-level temperature remained small. Comparison of the simulated and observed radiation fluxes would offer a reliable alternative for validation of NWP models. Unfortunately, surface-level radiation observations were not made during the Sochi Olympics.

Rontu, L., Wastl c., Niemelä S. (2016) Influence of the Details of Topography on Weather Forecast – Evaluation of HARMONIE Experiments in the Sochi Olympics Domain over the Caucasian Mountains. Front. Earth Sci., 12 February 2016 |






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