• Rajagopal E N

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • 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.

    • Arctic summer sea-ice seasonal simulation with a coupled model: Evaluation of mean features and biases

      Saheed P P Ashis K Mitra Imranali M Momin Rajagopal E N Helene T Hewitt Ann B Keen Sean F Milton

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      Current state of the art weather/climate models are representation of the fully coupled aspects of the components of the earth system. Sea-ice is one of the most important components of these models. Simulation of sea-ice in these models is a challenging problem. In this study, evaluation of the hind-cast data of 14 boreal summer seasons with global coupled model HadGEM3 in its seasonal set-up has been performed over the Arctic region from 9th May start dates. Along with the biases of the sea-ice variables, related atmosphere and oceanic variables have also been examined. The model evaluation is focused on seasonal mean of sea-ice concentration, sea-ice thickness, ocean surface current, SST, ice-drift velocity and sea-ice extent. To diagnose the sea-ice biases, atmospheric variables like, 10 m wind, 2 m air temperature, sea-level pressure and ocean sub-surface temperatures were also examined. The sea-ice variables were compared with GIOMAS dataset. The atmospheric and the oceanic variables were compared with the ERA Interim and the ECMWF Ocean re-analysis (ORAP5) datasets, respectively. The model could simulate the sea-ice concentration and thickness patterns reasonably well in the Arctic Circle. However, both sea-ice concentration and thickness in the model are underestimated compared to observations. A positive (warm) bias is seen both in 2 m air temperature and SST, which are consistent with the negative sea-ice bias. Biases in ocean current and related ice drift are not related to biases in the atmospheric winds. The magnitude of the oceanic subsurface warm biases is seen to be gradually decreasing with depth, but consistent with sea-ice biases. These analyses indicate a possibility of deeper warm subsurface water in the western Arctic Ocean sector (Pacific and Atlantic exchanges) affecting the negative biases in the sea-ice at the surface. The model is able to simulate reasonably well the summer sea-ice melting process and its inter-annual variability, and has useable skill for application purpose.

    • Impact of Cartosat-1 orography on weather prediction in a high-resolution NCMRWF unified model

      Jisesh Sethunadh Jayakumar A Saji Mohandas Rajagopal E N Subbu Nagulu A

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      The current study reports for the first time an application of orography from the Cartosat-1 satellite digital elevation model (DEM) generated at a source resolution of 30 m in a convection-permitting numerical weather prediction model. The effects of improvements in the representation of orography have been examined in the high-resolution regional National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) Unified Model predictions for a heavy rainfall event over the city of Chennai. A time-lagged ensemble method is employed to account for the uncertainties associated with the initial conditions, which can better forecast extreme weather events than single forecasts. The simulations reveal that the predictions based on Cartosat-1 DEM capture the local details of the rainfall distribution better than the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shuttle radar topography mission DEM-based predictions, and better represent the orographic and thermal uplifting. The spatio-temporal patterns of the simulated rainfall over Chennai are superior in Cartosat-1 DEM-based simulations mainly due to the enhanced wind convergence and moisture transport. The present study reveals the role of mountains in the enhancement of heavy rainfall events over coastal cities and highlights the potential use of high-resolution orography in the improvement of the operational weather forecasting skill of the NCMRWF Unified Model.

    • Assimilation of INSAT-3D imager water vapour clear sky brightness temperature in the NCMRWF’s assimilation and forecast system

      Indira Rani S Ruth Taylor Priti Sharma Bushair M T Buddhi Prakash Jangid John P George Rajagopal E N

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      This paper describes the direct assimilation of water vapour (WV) clear sky brightness temperatures (CSBTs) from the INSAT-3D imager in the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) Unified Model (NCUM) assimilation and forecast system. INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs show a systematic bias of 2–3 K compared to the data simulated from the model first guess fields in the pre-assimilation study. The bias in the INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs is removed using a statistical bias correction prior to assimilation. The impact of INSAT-3D imager WV channel CSBTs is investigated through different approaches: (i) single observation experiments and (ii) global assimilation experiments using the hybrid-four-dimensional variational technique. Single observation experiments of channels of the same frequency from different instruments like the INSAT-3D imager and sounder, and the Meteosat visible and infrared imager (MVIRI) onboard Meteosat-7, show the INSAT-3D imager and MVIRI WV channels have a similar impact on the analysis increment. Global assimilation clearly shows the positive impact of the INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs on the humidity and upper tropospheric wind fields, whereas the impact on the temperature field, particularly over the tropics, is neutral. Validation of model forecasted parameters with the in situ radio sonde observations also showed the positive impact of assimilation on the humidity and wind fields. INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs have been assimilated operationally in NCUM since August 2018.

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