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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(7), 9230-9252; doi:10.3390/rs70709230

Development and Evaluation of a River-Basin-Scale High Spatio-Temporal Precipitation Data Set Using the WRF Model: A Case Study of the Heihe River Basin

1
Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Heihe Remote Sensing Experimental Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yuei-An Liou, Alfredo R. Huete and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 13 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 20 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1965 KB, uploaded 20 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

To obtain long term accurate high resolution precipitation for the Heihe River Basin (HRB), Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations were performed using two different initial boundary conditions, with nine microphysical processes for different analysis parameterization schemes. High spatial-temporal precipitation was simulated from 2000 to 2013 and a suitable set of initial, boundary, and micro parameters for the HRB was evaluated from the Heihe Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research project and Chinese Meteorological Administration data at hourly, daily, monthly, and annual time scales using various statistical indicators. It was found that annual precipitation has gradually increased over the HRB since 2000. Precipitation mostly occurs in summer and is higher in monsoon-influenced areas. High elevations experience winter snowfall. Precipitation is higher in the eastern upstream area than in the western upstream, area; however, the converse occurs in winter. Precipitation gradually increases with elevation from 1000 m to 4000 m, and the maximum precipitation occurs at the height of 3500–4000 m, then the precipitation slowly decreases with elevation from 4000 m to the top over the Qilian Mountains. Precipitation is scare and has a high temporal variation in the downstream area. Results are systematically validated using the in situ observations in this region and it was found that precipitation simulated by the WRF model using suitable physical configuration agrees well with the observation over the HRB at hourly, daily, monthly and yearly scales, as well as at spatial pattern. We also conclude that the dynamic downscaling using the WRF model is capable of producing high-resolution and reliable precipitation over complex mountainous areas and extremely arid environments. The downscaled data can meet the requirement of river basin scale hydrological modeling and water balance analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Precipitation; Weather Research and Forecasting model; Heihe River Basin; Qilian Mountains; Complex terrain; Mountainous area Precipitation; Weather Research and Forecasting model; Heihe River Basin; Qilian Mountains; Complex terrain; Mountainous area
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pan, X.; Li, X.; Cheng, G.; Li, H.; He, X. Development and Evaluation of a River-Basin-Scale High Spatio-Temporal Precipitation Data Set Using the WRF Model: A Case Study of the Heihe River Basin. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 9230-9252.

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