Submitted as: model evaluation paper 27 Aug 2021

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 27 Aug 2021

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

Determining the sensitive parameters of WRF model for the prediction of tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal using Global Sensitivity Analysis and Machine Learning

Harish Baki1, Sandeep Chinta1, C. Balaji1,2, and Balaji Srinivasan1 Harish Baki et al.
  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India
  • 2Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India

Abstract. The present study focuses on identifying the parameters from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model that strongly influence the prediction of tropical cyclones over the Bay of Bengal (BoB) region. Three global sensitivity analysis (SA) methods, namely the Morris One-at-A-Time (MOAT), Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), and surrogate-based Sobol' are employed to identify the most sensitive parameters out of 24 tunable parameters corresponding to seven parameterization schemes of the WRF model. Ten tropical cyclones across different categories, such as cyclonic storms, severe cyclonic storms, and very severe cyclonic storms over BoB between 2011 and 2018, are selected in this study. The sensitivity scores of 24 parameters are evaluated for eight meteorological variables. The parameter sensitivity results are consistent across three SA methods for all the variables, and 8 out of the 24 parameters contribute 80 %–90 % to the overall sensitivity scores. It is found that the Sobol' method with Gaussian progress regression as a surrogate model can produce reliable sensitivity results when the available samples exceed 200. The parameters with which the model simulations have the least RMSE values when compared with the observations are considered as the optimal parameters. Comparing observations and model simulations with the default and optimal parameters shows that predictions with the optimal set of parameters yield a 16.74 % improvement in the 10 m wind speed, 3.13 % in surface air temperature, 0.73 % in surface air pressure, and 9.18 % in precipitation predictions compared to the default set of parameters.

Harish Baki et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-242', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-242', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Dec 2021

Harish Baki et al.

Harish Baki et al.


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Short summary
WRF model accuracy relies on numerous aspects, and the model parameters are one of them. By calibrating the model parameters, we can improve the model forecast. However, there exist hundreds of parameters and calibrating all of them is unimaginably expensive. Thus, there is a need to identify the sensitive parameters that influence the model output variables to reduce the parameter dimensionality. This study addresses the different methods and outcomes of parameter sensitivity analysis.