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Numerical Simulation of a Heavy Precipitation Event in the Vicinity of Madrid-Barajas International Airport: Sensitivity to Initial Conditions, Domain Resolution, and Microphysics Parameterizations

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Bolgiani, Pedro and Fernández González, Sergio and Valero Rodríguez, Francisco and Merino, Andrés and García Ortega, Eduardo and Sánchez, José Luis and Martín, María Luisa (2018) Numerical Simulation of a Heavy Precipitation Event in the Vicinity of Madrid-Barajas International Airport: Sensitivity to Initial Conditions, Domain Resolution, and Microphysics Parameterizations. Atmosphere, 9 (9). ISSN 2073-4433

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090329


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Abstract

Deep convection is a threat to many human activities, with a great impact on aviation safety. On 7 July 2017, a widespread torrential precipitation event (associated with a cut-off low at mid-levels) was registered in the vicinity of Madrid, causing serious flight disruptions. During this type of episode, accurate short-term forecasts are key to minimizing risks to aviation. The aim of this research is to improve early warning systems by obtaining the best WRF model setup. In this paper, the aforementioned event was simulated. Various model configurations were produced using four different physics parameterizations, 3-km and 1-km domain resolutions, and 0.25 degrees and 1 degrees initial condition resolutions. Simulations were validated using data from 17 rain gauge stations. Two validation indices are proposed, accounting for the temporal behaviour of the model. Results show significant differences between microphysics parameterizations. Validation of domain resolution shows that improvement from 3 to 1 km is negligible. Interestingly, the 0.25 degrees resolution for initial conditions produced poor results compared with 1 degrees. This may be linked to a timing error, because precipitation was simulated further east than observed. The use of ensembles generated by combining different WRF model configurations produced reliable precipitation estimates.


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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). This research was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) under the framework of the SAFE-FLIGHT research project (CGL2016-78702-C2-1-R and CGL2016-78702-C2-2-R).

Uncontrolled Keywords:Horizontal resolution; Northeastern spain; Weather research; Part II; Model; Convection; Ensembles; Schemes; Microburst; Prediction
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:50630
Deposited On:13 Feb 2019 11:32
Last Modified:13 Feb 2019 12:32

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