Climate Dynamics

, Volume 44, Issue 3–4, pp 633–659 | Cite as

Sensitivity of WRF to driving data and physics options on a seasonal time-scale for the southwest of Western Australia

  • Jatin Kala
  • Julia Andrys
  • Tom J. Lyons
  • Ian J. Foster
  • Bradley J. Evans


Regional climate models are sensitive to the forcing data used, as well as different model physics options. Additionally, the behaviour of physics parameterisations may vary depending on the location of the domain due to different climatic regimes. In this study, we carry out a sensitivity analysis of the weather research and forecasting model to different driving data and model physics options over a 10-km resolution domain in the southwest of Western Australia, a region with Mediterranean climate. Simulations are carried out on a seasonal time-scale, in order to better inform future long-term regional climate simulations for this region. We show that the choice of radiation scheme had a strong influence on both temperature and precipitation; the choice of planetary boundary layer scheme has a particularly large influence on minimum temperatures; and, the choice of cumulus scheme or more complex micro-physics did not strongly influence precipitation simulations. More importantly, we show that the same radiation scheme, when used with different driving data, can lead to different results.


Dynamical downscaling Physics parameterisation Regional climate modeling WRF 



This research is funded by the Australian Grains Research and Development Grant (MCV00013). All WRF simulations were supported by iVEC ( through the use of advanced computing resources provided by the Pawsey Super-Computing Centre located at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, through the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme. Jatin Kala is supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CE110001028). Julia Andrys is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award and a Grains Industry Research Scholarship. NOAA_OI_SST_V2 data were provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at The NNRP and NCEP-FNL data for this study are from the Research Data Archive (RDA) which is maintained by the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) at NCAR. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The original data are available from the RDA ( in dataset number ds090.0 and ds083.2 respectively. ERA-interim data were obtained from the ECMWF data server ( The comments of two anonymous reviews helped to further enhance the quality of this manuscript. All this support is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jatin Kala
    • 1
  • Julia Andrys
    • 2
  • Tom J. Lyons
    • 2
  • Ian J. Foster
    • 3
  • Bradley J. Evans
    • 4
  1. 1.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science and Climate Change Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.State Centre of Excellence for Climate Change Woodland and Forest HealthMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia
  3. 3.Western Australian Department of Agriculture and FoodBentleyAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesMacquarie UniversityMacquarie ParkAustralia

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