There have been very few mesoscale modelling studies of the Indian monsoon, with focus on the verification and intercomparison of the operational real time forecasts. With the exception of Das et al (2008), most of the studies in the literature are either the case studies of tropical cyclones and thunderstorms or the sensitivity studies involving physical parameterization or climate simulation studies. Almost all the studies are based on either National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), USA, final analysis fields (NCEP FNL) or the reanalysis data used as initial and lateral boundary conditions for driving the mesoscale model.
Here we present a mesoscale model forecast verification and intercomparison study over India involving three mesoscale models: (i) the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA, (ii) the MM5 model developed by NCAR, and (iii) the Eta model of the NCEP, USA. The analysis is carried out for the monsoon season, June to September 2008. This study is unique since it is based entirely on the real time global model forecasts of the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) T254 global analysis and forecast system. Based on the evaluation and intercomparison of the mesoscale model forecasts, we recommend the best model for operational real-time forecasts over the Indian region.
Although the forecast mean 850 hPa circulation shows realistic monsoon flow and the monsoon trough, the systematic errors over the Arabian Sea indicate an easterly bias to the north (of mean flow) and westerly bias to the south (of mean flow). This suggests that the forecasts feature a southward shift in the monsoon current. The systematic error in the 850 hPa temperature indicates that largely the WRF model forecasts feature warm bias and the MM5 model forecasts feature cold bias. Features common to all the three models include warm bias over northwest India and cold bias over southeast peninsula. The 850 hPa specific humidity forecast errors clearly show that the Eta model features dry bias mostly over the sea, while MM5 features moist bias over large part of domain. The RMSE computed at different levels clearly establish that WRF model forecasts feature least errors in the predicted free atmospheric fields. Detailed rainfall forecast verification further establishes that the WRF model forecast rainfall skill remains more or less same in day-2 and day-3 as in day-1, while the forecast skill in the MM5 and Eta models, deteriorates in day-2 and day-3 forecasts.
Volume 130, 2021
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