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Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 115, Issue 1–2, pp 297–304 | Cite as

Evaluating rainfall patterns using physics scheme ensembles from a regional atmospheric model

  • Fei Ji
  • Marie Ekström
  • Jason P. Evans
  • Jin Teng
Original Paper

Abstract

This study evaluated the ability of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) multi-physics ensembles to simulate storm systems known as East Coast Lows (ECLs). ECLs are intense low-pressure systems that develop off the eastern coast of Australia. These systems can cause significant damage to the region. On the other hand, the systems are also beneficial as they generate the majority of high inflow to coastal reservoirs. It is the common interest of both hazard control and water management to correctly capture the ECL features in modeling, in particular, to reproduce the observed spatial rainfall patterns. We simulated eight ECL events using WRF with 36 model configurations, each comprising physics scheme combinations of two planetary boundary layer (pbl), two cumulus (cu), three microphysics (mp), and three radiation (ra) schemes. The performance of each physics scheme combination and the ensembles of multiple physics scheme combinations were evaluated separately. Results show that using the ensemble average gives higher skill than the median performer within the ensemble. More importantly, choosing a composite average of the better performing pbl and cu schemes can substantially improve the representation of high rainfall both spatially and quantitatively.

Keywords

Root Mean Square Error Ensemble Average Mean Absolute Error Rainfall Threshold Equitable Threat Score 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is made possible by funding from the NSW Environmental Trust for the ESCCI-ECL project, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage backed NSW/ACT Regional Climate Modelling Project (NARCliM), and the Australian Research Council as part of the Discovery Project DP0772665 and Linkage Project LP120200777. Thanks to the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI) for funding the CSIRO contribution to this study. This research was undertaken on the NCI National Facility in Canberra, Australia, which is supported by the Australian Commonwealth Government.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fei Ji
    • 1
  • Marie Ekström
    • 2
  • Jason P. Evans
    • 3
  • Jin Teng
    • 2
  1. 1.NSW Office of Environment and HeritageQueanbeyanAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Land and WaterCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Climate Change Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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