An evaluation of WRF's ability to reproduce the surface wind over complex terrain based on typical circulation patterns



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Jiménez, P. A. and Dudhia, J. and González Rouco, J. Fidel and Montávez, J. P. and García Bustamante, E. and Navarro, J. and Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, J. and Múñoz Roldán, A. (2013) An evaluation of WRF's ability to reproduce the surface wind over complex terrain based on typical circulation patterns. Journal of geophysical research-atmospheres, 118 (14). pp. 7651-7669. ISSN 2169-897X

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The performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to reproduce the surface wind circulations over complex terrain is examined. The atmospheric evolution is simulated using two versions of the WRF model during an over 13year period (1992 to 2005) over a complex terrain region located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. A high horizontal resolution of 2km is used to provide an accurate representation of the terrain features. The multiyear evaluation focuses on the analysis of the accuracy displayed by the WRF simulations to reproduce the wind field of the six typical wind patterns (WPs) identified over the area in a previous observational work. Each pattern contains a high number of days which allows one to reach solid conclusions regarding the model performance. The accuracy of the simulations to reproduce the wind field under representative synoptic situations, or pressure patterns (PPs), of the Iberian Peninsula is also inspected in order to diagnose errors as a function of the large-scale situation. The evaluation is accomplished using daily averages in order to inspect the ability of WRF to reproduce the surface flow as a result of the interaction between the synoptic scale and the regional topography. Results indicate that model errors can originate from problems in the initial and lateral boundary conditions, misrepresentations at the synoptic scale, or the realism of the topographic features.

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© 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. This investigation was partially supported by projects CGL-2008-05093/CLI and CGL-2011-29677-C02 and was accomplished within the collaboration agreement 09/490 between CIEMAT and NCAR as well as the collaboration agreement 09/153 between CIEMAT and UCM. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. We would like to thank the Navarra government and the ECMWF for facilitating the access to its data sets. We also would like to thank the reviewers for their constructive comments which helped to increase the value of the contents of the manuscript.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Regional climate model; Cluster-analysis; Quality-assurance; Mesoscale model; United-states; Variability; Validation; Reanalysis; Classification; Simulation
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:36116
Deposited On:03 Mar 2016 16:43
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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