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Title: Fine-Scale Structure Of Diurnal Variations Of Indian Monsoon Rainfall : Observational Analysis And Numerical Modeling
Authors: Sahany, Sandeep
Advisors: Venugopal, V
Keywords: Monsoons - India
Numerical Analysis
Rainfall - Diurnal Variations
Rainfall - India - Modeling And Simulation
Weather Research And Forecasting Model (WRF)
Indian Monsoon Rainfall
Diurnal Cycle
Interannual Variability
Submitted Date: Oct-2009
Series/Report no.: G23647
Abstract: In the current study, we have presented a systematic analysis of the diurnal cycle of rainfall over the Indian region using satellite observations, and evaluated the ability of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) to simulate some of the salient features of the observed diurnal characteristics of rainfall. Using high resolution simulations, we also investigate the underlying mechanisms of some of the observed diurnal signatures of rainfall. Using the Tropical Rain-fall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3-hourly, 0.25 ×0.25 degree 3B42 rainfall product for nine years (1999-2007), we extract the finer spatial structure of the diurnal scale signature of Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Using harmonic analysis, we construct a signal corresponding to diurnal and sub-diurnal variability. Subsequently, the 3-hourly time-period or the octet of rain-fall peak for this filtered signal, referred to as the “peak octet,” is estimated with care taken to eliminate spurious peaks arising out of Gibbs oscillations. Our analysis suggests that over the Bay of Bengal, there are three distinct modes of the peak octet of diurnal rainfall corresponding to 1130, 1430 and 1730 IST, from north central to south Bay. This finding could be seen to be consistent with southward propagation of the diurnal rainfall pattern reported by earlier studies. Over the Arabian sea, there is a spatially coherent pattern in the mode of the peak octet (1430 IST), in a region where it rains for more than 30% of the time. In the equatorial Indian Ocean, while most of the western part shows a late night/early morning peak, the eastern part does not show a spatially coherent pattern in the mode of the peak octet, owing to the occurrence of a dual maxima (early morning and early/late afternoon). The Himalayan foothills were found to have a mode of peak octet corresponding to 0230 IST, whereas over the Burmese mountains and the Western Ghats (west coast of India) the rainfall peaks during late afternoon/early evening (1430-1730 IST). This implies that the phase of the diurnal cycle over inland orography (e.g., Himalayas) is significantly different from coastal orography (e.g., Western Ghats). We also find that over the Gangetic plains, the peak octet is around 1430 IST, a few hours earlier compared to the typical early evening maxima over land. The second part of our study involves evaluating the ability of the Weather Research and Fore-casting Model (WRF) to simulate the observed diurnal rainfall characteristics. It also includes conducting high resolution simulations to explore the underlying physical mechanisms of the observed diurnal signatures of rainfall. The model (at 54km resolution) is integrated for the month of July 2006 since this period was particularly favourable for the study of diurnal cycle. We first evaluate the sensitivity of the model to the prescribed sea surface temperature (SST) by using two different SST datasets, namely Final Analyses (FNL) and Real-time Global (RTG). The overall performance of RTG SST was found to be better than FNL, and hence it was used for further model simulations. Next, we investigated the impact of different parameterisations (convective, microphysical, boundary layer, radiation and land surface) on the simulation of diurnal cycle of rainfall. Following this sensitivity study, we identified the suite of physical parameterisations in the model that “best” reproduces the observed diurnal characteristics of Indian monsoon rainfall. The “best” model configuration was used to conduct two nested simulations with one-way, three-level nesting (54-18-6km) over central India and Bay of Bengal. While the 54km and 18km simulations were conducted for July 2006, the 6km simulation was carried out for the period 18-24 July 2006. This period was chosen for our study since it is composed of an active period (19-21 July 2006), followed by a break period (22-24 July 2006). At 6km grid-spacing the model is able to realistically simulate the active and break phases in rainfall. During the chosen active phase, we find that the observed rainfall over central India tends to reach a maximum in the late night/early morning hours. This is in contrast to the observed climatological diurnal maxima of late evening hours. Interestingly, the 6km simulation for the active phase is able to reproduce this late night/early morning maxima. Upon further analysis, we find that this is because of the strong moisture convergence at the mid-troposphere during 2030-2330 IST, leading to the rainfall peak seen during 2330-0230 IST. Based on our analysis, we conclude that during both active and break phases of summer monsoon, mid-level moisture convergence seems to be one of the primary factors governing the phase of the diurnal cycle of rainfall. Over the Bay of Bengal, the 6km model simulation is in very good agreement with observations, particularly during the active phase. The southward propagation observed during 19-20 July 2006, which was not captured by the coarse resolution simulation (54km), is exceedingly well captured by the 6km simulation. The positive anomalies in specific humidity attain a maxima during 2030-0230 IST in the north and during 0830-1430 IST in the south. This confirms the role of moisture convergence in the southward propagation of rainfall. Equally importantly we find that while low level moisture convergence is dominant in the north Bay, it is the mid-level moisture convergence that is predominant in the south Bay.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2005/980
Appears in Collections:Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (caos)

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