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Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090329

Numerical Simulation of a Heavy Precipitation Event in the Vicinity of Madrid-Barajas International Airport: Sensitivity to Initial Conditions, Domain Resolution, and Microphysics Parameterizations

1
Department of Earth Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics II, Faculty of Physics, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), 28040 Madrid, Spain
3
Institute of Applied Mathematics, Complutense University of Madrid; 28040 Madrid, Spain
4
Atmospheric Physics Group, IMA, University of León, 24071 León, Spain
5
Department of Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Computer Engineering, University of Valladolid, 47002 Valladolid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation: Measurement and Modeling)
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Abstract

Deep convection is a threat to many human activities, with a great impact on aviation safety. On 7 July 2017, a widespread torrential precipitation event (associated with a cut-off low at mid-levels) was registered in the vicinity of Madrid, causing serious flight disruptions. During this type of episode, accurate short-term forecasts are key to minimizing risks to aviation. The aim of this research is to improve early warning systems by obtaining the best WRF model setup. In this paper, the aforementioned event was simulated. Various model configurations were produced using four different physics parameterizations, 3-km and 1-km domain resolutions, and 0.25° and 1° initial condition resolutions. Simulations were validated using data from 17 rain gauge stations. Two validation indices are proposed, accounting for the temporal behaviour of the model. Results show significant differences between microphysics parameterizations. Validation of domain resolution shows that improvement from 3 to 1 km is negligible. Interestingly, the 0.25° resolution for initial conditions produced poor results compared with 1°. This may be linked to a timing error, because precipitation was simulated further east than observed. The use of ensembles generated by combining different WRF model configurations produced reliable precipitation estimates. View Full-Text
Keywords: deep convection; heavy precipitation; WRF model; validation; parameterization schemes; domain resolution deep convection; heavy precipitation; WRF model; validation; parameterization schemes; domain resolution
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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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Bolgiani, P.; Fernández-González, S.; Valero, F.; Merino, A.; García-Ortega, E.; Sánchez, J.L.; Martín, M.L. Numerical Simulation of a Heavy Precipitation Event in the Vicinity of Madrid-Barajas International Airport: Sensitivity to Initial Conditions, Domain Resolution, and Microphysics Parameterizations. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 329.

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