A simple regional coupled model experiment for summer-time climate simulation over southern Africa

J. V. Ratnam, S. K. Behera, Y. Masumoto, K. Takahashi, T. Yamagata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The main aim of this paper is to evaluate the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional model in simulating the precipitation over southern Africa during austral summer. The model's ability to reproduce the southern African mean climate and its variability around this mean state was evaluated by using the two-tier approach of specifying sea surface temperature (SST) to WRF and by using the one-tier approach of coupling the WRF with a simple mixed-layer ocean model. The boundary conditions provided by the reanalysis-II data were used for the simulations. Model experiments were conducted for twelve austral summers from DJF1998-99 to DJF2009-10. The experiments using both the two-tier and one-tier approaches simulated the spatial and temporal distributions of the precipitation realistically. However, both experiments simulated negative biases over Mozambique. Furthermore, analysis of the wet and dry spells revealed that the one-tier approach is superior to the two-tier approach. Based on the analysis of the surface temperature and the zonal wind shear it is noted that the simple mixed-layer ocean model coupled to WRF can be effectively used in place of two-tier WRF to simulate the climate of southern Africa. This is an important result because specification of SST at higher temporal resolutions in the subtropics is the most difficult task in the two-tier approach for most regional prediction models. The one-tier approach with the simple mixed-layer model can effectively reduce the complicacy of finding good SST predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2207-2217
Number of pages11
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume39
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Mixed layer ocean model
  • Southern Africa
  • WRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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