Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 469–490 | Cite as

Evaluation of the Forecast Accuracy of Near-Surface Temperature and Wind in Northwest China Based on the WRF Model

  • Haixia Duan
  • Yaohui Li
  • Tiejun Zhang
  • Zhaoxia Pu
  • Cailing Zhao
  • Yuanpu Liu
Special Collection on Weather and Climate Under Complex Terrain and Variable Land Surfaces: Observations and Numerical Simulations


This study investigated the performance of the mesoscale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model in predicting near-surface atmospheric temperature and wind for a complex underlying surface in Northwest China in June and December 2015. The spatial distribution of the monthly average bias errors in the forecasts of 2-m temperature and 10-m wind speed is analyzed first. It is found that the forecast errors for 2-m temperature and 10-m wind speed in June are strongly correlated with the terrain distribution. However, this type of correlation is not apparent in December, perhaps due to the inaccurate specification of the surface albedo and freezing–thawing process of frozen soil in winter in Northwest China in the WRF model. In addition, the WRF model is able to reproduce the diurnal variation in 2-m temperature and 10-m wind speed, although with weakened magnitude. Elevations and land-use types have strong influences on the forecast of near-surface variables with seasonal variations. The overall results imply that accurate specification of the complex underlying surface and seasonal changes in land cover is necessary for improving near-surface forecasts over Northwest China.

Key words

Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model complex terrain near-surface forecasts diurnal variation 


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We appreciate the constructive comments and suggestions from the two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haixia Duan
    • 1
  • Yaohui Li
    • 1
  • Tiejun Zhang
    • 1
  • Zhaoxia Pu
    • 2
  • Cailing Zhao
    • 1
  • Yuanpu Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern Regional Center of Numerical Weather Prediction/Key Laboratory of Arid Climate Change and Disaster Reduction of China Meteorological Administration (CMA) and Gansu ProvinceInstitute of Arid Meteorology of CMALanzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric SciencesThe University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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