Sumam Mary Idicula
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 121 Issue 2 April 2012 pp 297-316
Thunderstorm, resulting from vigorous convective activity, is one of the most spectacular weather phenomena in the atmosphere. A common feature of the weather during the pre-monsoon season over the Indo-Gangetic Plain and northeast India is the outburst of severe local convective storms, commonly known as ‘Nor’westers’(as they move from northwest to southeast). The severe thunderstorms associated with thunder, squall lines, lightning and hail cause extensive losses in agricultural, damage to structure and also loss of life. In this paper, sensitivity experiments have been conducted with the Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM) to test the impact of three microphysical schemes in capturing the severe thunderstorm event occurred over Kolkata on 15 May 2009. The results show that the WRF-NMM model with Ferrier microphysical scheme appears to reproduce the cloud and precipitation processes more realistically than other schemes. Also, we have made an attempt to diagnose four severe thunderstorms that occurred during pre-monsoon seasons of 2006, 2007 and 2008 through the simulated radar reflectivity fields from NMM model with Ferrier microphysics scheme and validated the model results with Kolkata Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) observations. Composite radar reflectivity simulated by WRF-NMM model clearly shows the severe thunderstorm movement as observed by DWR imageries, but failed to capture the intensity as in observations. The results of these analyses demonstrated the capability of high resolution WRF-NMM model in the simulation of severe thunderstorm events and determined that the 3 km model improve upon current abilities when it comes to simulating severe thunderstorms over east Indian region.
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