• Gopal Iyengar

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • The Indian summer monsoon as revealed by the NCMRWF system

      P L S Rao U C Mohanty P V S Raju Gopal Iyengar

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      In this study, we present the mean seasonal features of the Indian summer monsoon circulation in the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) global data assimilation and forecast system. The large-scale budgets of heat and moisture are examined in the analyzed and model atmosphere. The daily operational analyses and forecasts (day 1 through day 5) produced for the summer seasons comprising June, July and August of 1995 and 1993 have been considered for the purpose. The principal aim of the study is two-fold. Primarily, to comprehend the influence of the systematic errors over the Indian summer monsoon, secondarily, to analyze the performance of the model in capturing the interseasonal variability.

      The heat and moisture balances show reduction in the influx of heat and moisture in the model forecasts compared to the analyzed atmosphere over the monsoon domain. Consequently, the diabatic heating also indicates reducing trend with increase in the forecast period. In effect, the strength of Indian summer monsoon, which essentially depends on these parameters, weakens considerably in the model forecasts. Despite producing feeble monsoon circulation, the model captures interseasonal variability realistically. Although, 1995 and 1993 are fairly normal monsoon seasons, the former received more rainfall compared to the latter in certain pockets of the monsoon domain. This is clearly indicated by the analyzed and model atmosphere in terms of energetics.

    • Assessment of Met Office Unified Model (UM) quantitative precipitation forecasts during the Indian summer monsoon: Contiguous Rain Area (CRA) approach

      Kuldeep Sharma Raghavendra Ashrit Elizabeth Ebert Ashis Mitra Bhatla R Gopal Iyengar Rajagopal E N

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      The operational medium range rainfall forecasts of the Met Office Unified Model (UM) are evaluated over India using the Contiguous Rainfall Area (CRA) verification technique. In the CRA method, forecast and observed weather systems (defined by a user-specified rain threshold) are objectively matched to estimate location, volume, and pattern errors. In this study, UM rainfall forecasts from nine (2007–2015) Indian monsoon seasons are evaluated against 0.5$^{\circ }\times$ 0.5$^{\circ }$ IMD–NCMRWF gridded observed rainfall over India (6.5$^{\circ }{-}$38.5$^{\circ }$N, 66.5$^{\circ }{-}$100.5$^{\circ }$E). The model forecasts show a wet bias due to excessive number of rainy days particularly of low amounts (<1 mm d$^{-1}$). Verification scores consistently suggest good skill the forecasts at threshold of 10 mm d$^{-1}$, while moderate (poor) skill at thresholds of <20 mm d$^{-1}$ (<40 mm d$^{-1}$). Spatial verification of rainfall forecasts is carried out for 10, 20, 40 and 80 mm d$^{-1}$ CRA thresholds for four sub-regions namely (i) northwest (NW), (ii) southwest (SW), (iii) eastern (E), and (iv) northeast (NE) sub-region. Over the SW sub-region, the forecasts tend to underestimate rain intensity. In the SW region, the forecast events tended to be displaced to the west and southwest of the observed position on an average by about 1$^{\circ }$ distance. Over eastern India (E) forecasts of light (heavy) rainfall events, like 10 mm d$^{-1}$ (20 and 40 mm d$^{-1}$) tend to be displaced to the south on an average by about 1$^{\circ }$ (southeast by 1$-2^{\circ }$). In all four regions, the relative contribution to total error due to displacement increases with increasing CRA threshold. These findings can be useful for forecasters and for model developers with regard to the model systematic errors associated with the monsoon rainfall over different parts of India.

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