, Volume 86, Issue 1-4, pp 161-172
Date: 26 May 2006

Simulation of Indian summer monsoon circulation and rainfall using RegCM3

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The Regional Climate Model RegCM3 has been used to examine its suitability in simulating the Indian summer monsoon circulation features and associated rainfall. The model is integrated at 55 km horizontal resolution over a South Asia domain for the period April–September of the years 1993 to 1996. The characteristics of wind at 850 hPa and 200 hPa, temperature at 500 hPa, surface pressure and rainfall simulated by the model over the Indian region are examined for two convective schemes (a Kuo-type and a mass flux scheme). The monsoon circulation features simulated by RegCM3 are compared with those of the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and the simulated rainfall is validated against observations from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) and the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Validation of the wind and temperature fields shows that the use of the Grell convection scheme yields results close to the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis. Similarly, the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall (ISMR) simulated by the model with the Grell convection scheme is close to the corresponding observed values. In order to test the model response to land surface changes such as the Tibetan snow depth, a sensitivity study has also been conducted. For such sensitivity experiment, NIMBUS-7 SMMR snow depth data in spring are used as initial conditions in the RegCM3. Preliminary results indicate that RegCM3 is very much sensitive to Tibetan snow. The model simulated Indian summer monsoon circulation becomes weaker and the associated rainfall is reduced by about 30% with the introduction of 10 cm of snow over the Tibetan region in the month of April.