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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(7), 589; doi:10.3390/rs8070589

Impact of Initial Soil Temperature Derived from Remote Sensing and Numerical Weather Prediction Datasets on the Simulation of Extreme Heat Events

1
Earth Physics and Thermodynamics Department, Faculty of Physics, University of Valencia, Doctor Moliner, 50, Burjassot, Valencia 46100, Spain
2
Environment and Earth Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences, University of Alicante, Section 99, Alicante 03080, Spain
3
Geography Department, Faculty of Geography and History, University of Valencia, Avda. Blasco Ibáñez, 28, Valencia 46010, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dale A. Quattrochi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract

Extreme heat weather events have received increasing attention and has become of special importance as they can remarkably affect sectors as diverse as public health, energy consumption, water resources, natural biodiversity and agricultural production. In this regard, summer temperatures have become a parameter of essential interest under a framework of a hypothetical increase in the number of intense-heat conditions. Thus, their forecast is a crucial aspect bearing in mind a mitigation of the effects and impacts that these intense-heat situations could produce. The current work tries to reach a better understanding of these sorts of situations that are really common over the Western Mediterranean coast. An extreme heat episode that took place in the Valencia Region in July 2009 is analysed, based on the simulations performed with the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). This event recorded maximum temperatures exceeding 40 °C amply extended over the region besides reaching minimum temperatures up to 25.92 °C. We examine the role of improved skin and soil temperature (ST) initial conditions in the forecast results by means of different modelling and satellite-derived products. The influence of incorporating the Land Surface Temperature (LST) into RAMS is not found to produce a meaningful impact on the simulation results, independently of the resolution of the dataset used in the initial conditions of the model. In contrast, the introduction of the ST in lower levels, not only the skin temperature, has a more marked decisive effect in the simulation. Additionally, we have evaluated the influence of increasing the number of soil levels to spread deeper underground. This sensitivity experiment has revealed that more soil levels do not produce any meaningful impact on the simulation compared to the original one. In any case, RAMS is able to properly capture the observed patterns in those cases where a Western advection is widely extended over the area of study. This region’s variability in orography and in distances to the sea promotes the development of sea-breeze circulations, thus producing a convergence of two opposite wind flows, a Western synoptic advection and a sea-breeze circulation. As a result, the RAMS skill in those cases where a sea breeze is well developed depends on the proper location of the boundary and convergence lines of these two flows. View Full-Text
Keywords: RAMS model; extreme heat; LST; soil temperature; summer temperatures; mesoscale modelling; numerical weather prediction/forecasting RAMS model; extreme heat; LST; soil temperature; summer temperatures; mesoscale modelling; numerical weather prediction/forecasting
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Gómez, I.; Caselles, V.; Estrela, M.J.; Niclòs, R. Impact of Initial Soil Temperature Derived from Remote Sensing and Numerical Weather Prediction Datasets on the Simulation of Extreme Heat Events. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 589.

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