ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2016, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 137-148

Assessment of forecast quality of mesoscale convective systems in Western Urals region using WRF model and MODIS satellite data

A.N. Shikhov 1 , A.V. Bykov 1 
1 Perm State National Research University, Perm, Russia

Accepted: 02.12.2015
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2016-13-1-137-148

The article describes the results of simulation of formation and evolution of mesoscale convective systems (MCS) accompanied by dangerous weather events over the territory of Western Urals using numerical atmospheric model WRF/ARW. 20 cases of mesoscale convective complexes and squall lines formation for the period of 2004–2015 were studied. The simulation was performed on a grid with a spatial step of 4 km for direct convection modeling.
The CFS reanalysis data were used as initial conditions for modeling. Validation of the results was performed using Terra/Aqua MODIS satellite data, as well as radar observation and weather stations data. The characteristics of convection intensity (temperature and height of convective clouds tops, maximum value of reflectivity) were simulated with sufficient reliability. However, the quality of MCS spatial position forecast was unsatisfactory in most cases, probably due to the initial conditions. Also, the model did not reproduce intense convection and MCS formation outside frontal zones. However, in some cases, the model successfully reproduced the formation and evolution of mesoscale convective clusters with strong precipitations, squalls and hail. It can be used for the short-range forecasting of convective hazard in the region, with a time accuracy of ± 1–2 hours. Prospects for improvement of forecast reliability are connected with the possibility to assimilate additional observational data using WRFDA-3DVAR module, as well as taking a more detailed account of the underlying surface.
Keywords: mesoscale convective systems, WRF model, MODIS data, cloud top temperature, cloud top height
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