This paper aimed to investigate the impact of Red Sea topography and water on the development and rainfall of a case of cyclogenesis occurs over Saudi Arabia during the period 16–18 November 2015 using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The WRF Control Run (WRF-CR) experiment was performed with presence of actual topography and surface water of the Red Sea, while the other three sensitivity experiments were carried out without (i) Red Sea Topography (NRST), (ii) Red Sea Water (NRSW), and (iii) Red Sea Topography and Water (NRSTW). The simulated rainfall in the control experiment depicts in well agreement with Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) rainfall estimates in terms of intensity as well as spatio-temporal distribution. Results demonstrate that rainfall intensity and spatio-temporal distribution significantly changes through each sensitivity experiment compared to the WRF-CR, where the significant variation was found in the NRST experiment. The absence of topography (NRST) leads to formation of strong convergence area over the middle of Red Sea which enhanced uplift motion that further strengthened the low-level jet over Red Sea and the surrounding regions, which enhanced the moisture and temperature gradient and created a conditionally unstable atmosphere that favored the development of the cyclonic system. The absence of Red Sea water (NRSW) changed rainfall spatial distribution and reduced its amount by about 30–40% due to affecting of the dynamics of the upward motion and moisture gradient, suggesting that surface fluxes play an important role in regulating the low-level moist air convergence prior to convection initiation and development.
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