Simulation of extreme rainfall event of November 2009 over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: the explicit role of topography and surface heating
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In this paper, a nonhydrostatic Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model has been used to simulate the extreme precipitation event of 25 November 2009, over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The model is integrated in three nested (27, 9, and 3 km) domains with the initial and boundary forcing derived from the NCEP reanalysis datasets. As a control experiment, the model integrated for 48 h initiated at 0000 UTC on 24 November 2009. The simulated rainfall in the control experiment depicts in well agreement with Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission rainfall estimates in terms of intensity as well as spatio-temporal distribution. Results indicate that a strong low-level (850 hPa) wind over Jeddah and surrounding regions enhanced the moisture and temperature gradient and created a conditionally unstable atmosphere that favored the development of the mesoscale system. The influences of topography and heat exchange process in the atmosphere were investigated on the development of extreme precipitation event; two sensitivity experiments are carried out: one without topography and another without exchange of surface heating to the atmosphere. The results depict that both surface heating and topography played crucial role in determining the spatial distribution and intensity of the extreme rainfall over Jeddah. The topography favored enhanced uplift motion that further strengthened the low-level jet and hence the rainfall over Jeddah and adjacent areas. On the other hand, the absence of surface heating considerably reduced the simulated rainfall by 30% as compared to the observations.
The authors sincerely acknowledge NCEP for availability of the global reanalysis fields and NOAA for the TRMM rainfall data through their websites. The authors also express thanks to the reviewers for their valuable comments/suggestion for further improving the quality of the manuscript. Computation for the work described in this paper was performed using the Aziz Supercomputer at the King Abdulaziz University’s High Performance Computing Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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