Submitted as: development and technical paper 01 Dec 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 01 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

WRF4PALM v1.0: A Mesoscale Dynamical Driver for the Microscale PALM Model System 6.0

Dongqi Lin1,2, Basit Khan3, Marwan Katurji2, Leroy Bird4, Ricardo Faria5, and Laura E. Revell1 Dongqi Lin et al.
  • 1School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 2School of Earth and Environment, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 3Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 82467, Germany
  • 4Bodeker Scientific, Alexandra, New Zealand
  • 5Oceanic Observatory of Madeira, Agência Regional para o Desenvolvimento da Investigação Tecnologia e Investigação, Madeira, Portugal

Abstract. A set of Python-based tools, WRF4PALM, has been developed for offline-nesting of the PALM model system 6.0 into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) modelling system. Time-dependent boundary conditions of the atmosphere are critical for accurate representation of microscale meteorological dynamics in high resolution real-data simulations. WRF4PALM generates initial and boundary conditions from WRF outputs to provide time-varying meteorological forcing for PALM. The WRF model has been used across the atmospheric science community for a broad range of multidisciplinary applications. The PALM model system 6.0 is a turbulence-resolving large-eddy simulation model with an additional Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) mode for atmospheric and oceanic boundary layer studies at microscale (Maronga et al., 2020). Currently PALM has the capability to ingest output from the regional scale Consortium for Small-scale Modelling (COSMO) atmospheric prediction model. However, COSMO is not an open source model which requires a licence agreement for operational use or academic research ( This paper describes and validates the new free and open-source WRF4PALM tools (available on Two case studies using WRF4PALM are presented for Christchurch, New Zealand, which demonstrate successful PALM simulations driven by meteorological forcing from WRF outputs. The WRF4PALM tools presented here can potentially be used for micro- and mesoscale studies worldwide, for example in boundary layer studies, air pollution dispersion modelling, wildfire emissions and spread, urban weather forecasting, and agricultural meteorology.

Dongqi Lin et al.

Status: open (until 26 Jan 2021)
Status: open (until 26 Jan 2021)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Dongqi Lin et al.

Model code and software

WRF4PALM: WRF4PALM_release_v1.0 Dongqi Lin

Dongqi Lin et al.


Total article views: 273 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
146 70 57 273 139 2 1
  • HTML: 146
  • PDF: 70
  • XML: 57
  • Total: 273
  • Supplement: 139
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 1
Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Dec 2020)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Dec 2020)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 201 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 194 with geography defined and 7 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 22 Jan 2021
Short summary
We present an open-source toolbox WRF4PALM which enables simulating weather dynamics within the urban landscapes. WRF4PALM passes meteorological information from the popular Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to the turbulence-resolving PALM model system 6.0. WRF4PALM can potentially extend the use of WRF and PALM with realistic boundary conditions to any part of the world. WRF4PALM will help study air pollution dispersion, wind energy prospecting, and high impact wind forecasting.