Submitted as: development and technical paper 03 Mar 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 03 Mar 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Effects of spatial resolution on WRF v3.8.1 simulated meteorology over the central Himalaya

Jaydeep Singh1, Narendra Singh1, Narendra Ojha2, Amit Sharma3,a, Andrea Pozzer4,5, Nadimpally Kiran Kumar6, Kunjukrishnapillai Rajeev6, Sachin S. Gunthe3, and V. Rao Kotamarthi7 Jaydeep Singh et al.
  • 1Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Nainital, India
  • 2Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India
  • 3EWRE Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India
  • 4Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 5Earth System Physics Section, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy
  • 6Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, India
  • 7Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, USA
  • anow at: Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

Abstract. The sensitive and fragile ecosystem of the central Himalayan (CH) region, experiencing enhanced anthropogenic pressure, requires adequate atmospheric observations and an improved representation of Himalaya in the models. However, the accuracies of atmospheric models remain limited here due to highly complex mountainous topography. This article delineates the effects of spatial resolution on the modeled meteorology and dynamics over the CH by combining the WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) model with the GVAX (Ganges Valley Aerosol Experiment) observations during the summer monsoon. WRF simulation is performed over a domain (d01) encompassing northern India at 15 km × 15 km resolution, and two nests: d02 (5 km × 5 km) and d03 (1 km × 1 km) centered over CH with boundary conditions from respective parent domains. WRF simulations reveal higher variability in meteorology e.g. Relative Humidity (RH = 71.4–93.3 %), Wind speed (WS = 1.6–3.1 ms−1), as compared to the ERA Interim reanalysis (RH = 79.4–85.0, and WS = 1.3–2.3 ms−1) over the northern India owing to higher resolution. WRF simulated temporal evolution of meteorological profiles is seen to be in agreement with the balloon-borne measurements with stronger correlations aloft (r = 0.44–0.92), than those in the lower troposphere (r = 0.27–0.48). However, the model overestimates temperature (warm bias by 2.8 °C) and underestimates RH (dry bias by 7.6 %) at surface in the d01. Model results show a significant improvement in d03 (P = 827.6 hPa, T = 19.8 °C, RH = 90.2 %) and are closer to the GVAX observations (P = 801.3, T = 19.5, RH = 94.5 %). Temporal variations in near surface P, T and RH are also reproduced by WRF d03 to an extent (r > 0.5). A sensitivity simulation incorporating the feedback from nested domain demonstrated improvements in simulated P, T and RH over CH. Our study shows the WRF model set up at finer spatial resolution can significantly reduce the biases in simulated meteorology and such an improved representation of CH can be adopted through domain feedback into regional-scale simulations. Interestingly, WRF simulates a dominant easterly wind component at 1 km × 1 km resolution (d03), which was missing in the coarse simulations; however, a frequent southeastward wind component remained underestimated. Model simulation implementing a high resolution (3 s) topography input (SRTM) improved the prediction of wind directions, nevertheless, further improvements are required to better reproduce the observed local-scale dynamics over the CH.

Jaydeep Singh et al.

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Jaydeep Singh et al.

Jaydeep Singh et al.


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Short summary
Atmospheric models have often limitations in simulating geographically complex and climatically important central Himalayan region. In this direction, we have performed regional modeling at high resolutions to improve the simulations of meteorology and dynamics by through better representation of the topography. The study have implications for further model applications to investigate the effects of anthropogenic pressure over the Himalaya.