Simulations of Severe Tropical Cyclone Nargis over the Bay of Bengal Using RIMES Operational System
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The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), an international, intergovernmental organization based in Thailand is engaged in disaster risk reduction over the Asia–Pacific region through early warning information. In this paper, RIMES’ customized Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model has been used to evaluate the simulations of cyclone Nargis which hit Myanmar on 2 May 2008, the most deadly severe weather event in the history of Myanmar. The model covers a domain of 35ºE to 145ºE in the east—west direction and 12ºS to 40ºN in the north—south direction in order to cover Asia and east Africa with a resolution of 9 km in the horizontal and 28 vertical levels. The initial and boundary conditions for the simulations were provided by the National Center for Environmental Prediction-Global Forecast System (NCEP-GFS) available at 1º lon/lat resolution. An attempt is being made to critically evaluate the simulation of cyclone Nargis by seven set of simulations in terms of track, intensity and landfall time of the cyclone. The seven sets of model simulations were initialized every 12 h starting from 0000 UTC 28 April to 01 May 2008. Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) precipitation (mm) is used to evaluate the performance of the simulations of heavy rainfall associated with the tropical cyclone. The track and intensity of the simulated cyclone are compared by making use of Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) data sets. The results indicate that the landfall time, the distribution and intensity of the rainfall, pressure and wind field are well simulated as compared with the JTWC estimates. The average landfall track error for all seven simulations was 64 km with an average time error of about 5 h. The average intensity error of central pressure in all the simulations were found out to be approximately 6 hPa more than the JTWC estimates and in the case of wind, the simulations under predicted it by an average of 12 m s−1.
KeywordsCyclone Nargis model simulation track intensity landfall
The authors wish to acknowledge NCEP for the analysis and forecast of the global forecast system, NASA for providing the precipitation data, JTWC for providing the best track and intensity and synoptic charts are furnished by the Thai Meteorological Department. We thank to Mr. A.R. Subbiah, Director of RIMES for his encouragement and support. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments that have greatly improved this manuscript.
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