Sensitivity of physical parameterizations on prediction of tropical cyclone Nargis over the Bay of Bengal using WRF model

  • P. V. S. Raju
  • Jayaraman Potty
  • U. C. Mohanty
Original Paper


Comprehensive sensitivity analyses on physical parameterization schemes of Weather Research Forecast (WRF-ARW core) model have been carried out for the prediction of track and intensity of tropical cyclones by taking the example of cyclone Nargis, which formed over the Bay of Bengal and hit Myanmar on 02 May 2008, causing widespread damages in terms of human and economic losses. The model performances are also evaluated with different initial conditions of 12 h intervals starting from the cyclogenesis to the near landfall time. The initial and boundary conditions for all the model simulations are drawn from the global operational analysis and forecast products of National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP-GFS) available for the public at 1° lon/lat resolution. The results of the sensitivity analyses indicate that a combination of non-local parabolic type exchange coefficient PBL scheme of Yonsei University (YSU), deep and shallow convection scheme with mass flux approach for cumulus parameterization (Kain-Fritsch), and NCEP operational cloud microphysics scheme with diagnostic mixed phase processes (Ferrier), predicts better track and intensity as compared against the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) estimates. Further, the final choice of the physical parameterization schemes selected from the above sensitivity experiments is used for model integration with different initial conditions. The results reveal that the cyclone track, intensity and time of landfall are well simulated by the model with an average intensity error of about 8 hPa, maximum wind error of 12 m s−1and track error of 77 km. The simulations also show that the landfall time error and intensity error are decreasing with delayed initial condition, suggesting that the model forecast is more dependable when the cyclone approaches the coast. The distribution and intensity of rainfall are also well simulated by the model and comparable with the TRMM estimates.


Cyclone Tropical Cyclone Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Microphysics Scheme Planetary Boundary Layer Scheme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors sincerely acknowledge NCEP for providing the global analysis and forecast fields, NASA for precipitation data, the track and intensity were furnished by JTWC. The authors also expresses their thanks to the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments for the improving the quality of the manuscript. Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) provided financial support for computational resources to accomplish this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. V. S. Raju
    • 2
  • Jayaraman Potty
    • 2
  • U. C. Mohanty
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Atmospheric SciencesIndian Institute of TechnologyNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)Asian Institute of Technology CampusKlong Luang, PathumthaniThailand

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