Publication Details

WRF model sensitivity to land surface model and cumulus parameterization under short-term climate extremes over the southern Great Plains of the United States

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Pei, Lisi; Moore, Nathan; Zhong, Shiyuan; Luo, Lifeng; Hyndman, David W.; Heilman, Warren E.; Gao, Zhiqiu

Year Published

2014

Publication

Journal of Climate. 27(20): 7703-7724.

Abstract

Extreme weather and climate events, especially short-term excessive drought and wet periods over agricultural areas, have received increased attention. The Southern Great Plains (SGP) is one of the largest agricultural regions in North America and features the underlying Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer system worth great economic value in large part due to production gains from groundwater. Climate research over the SGP is needed to better understand complex coupled climate-hydrology-socioeconomic interactions critical to the sustainability of this region, especially under extreme climate scenarios. Here the authors studied growing-season extreme conditions using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. The six most extreme recent years, both wet and dry, were simulated to investigate the impacts of land surface model and cumulus parameterization on the simulated hydroclimate. The results show that under short-term climate extremes, the land surface model plays a more important role modulating the land-atmosphere water budget, and thus the entire regional climate, than the cumulus parameterization under currentmodel configurations.Between the two land surfacemodels tested, themore sophisticated land surfacemodel produced significantly larger wet bias in large part due to overestimation ofmoisture flux convergence, which is attributedmainly to an overestimation of the surface evapotranspiration during the simulated period.The deficiencies of the cumulus parameterizations resulted in themodel’s inability to depict the diurnal rainfall variability. Both land surface processes and cumulus parameterizations remain the most challenging parts of regional climate modeling under extreme climates over the SGP, with the former strongly affecting the precipitation amount and the latter strongly affecting the precipitation pattern.

Citation

Pei, Lisi; Moore, Nathan; Zhong, Shiyuan; Luo, Lifeng; Hyndman, David W.; Heilman, Warren E.; Gao, Zhiqiu. 2014. WRF model sensitivity to land surface model and cumulus parameterization under short-term climate extremes over the southern Great Plains of the United States. Journal of Climate. 27(20): 7703-7724. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00015.1.

Last updated on: October 31, 2014