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Numerical Simulation of Heavy Rainfall in August 2014 over Japan and Analysis of Its Sensitivity to Sea Surface Temperature

Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2018, 9(3), 84;
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue WRF Simulations at the Mesoscale: From the Microscale to Macroscale)
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This study evaluated the performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.7 for simulating a series of rainfall events in August 2014 over Japan and investigated the impact of uncertainty in sea surface temperature (SST) on simulated rainfall in the record-high precipitation period. WRF simulations for the heavy rainfall were conducted for six different cases. The heavy rainfall events caused by typhoons and rain fronts were similarly accurately reproduced by three cases: the TQW_5km case with grid nudging for air temperature, humidity, and wind and with a horizontal resolution of 5 km; W_5km with wind nudging and 5-km resolution; and W_2.5km with wind nudging and 2.5-km resolution. Because the nudging for air temperature and humidity in TQW_5km suppresses the influence of SST change, and because W_2.5km requires larger computational load, W_5km was selected as the baseline case for a sensitivity analysis of SST. In the sensitivity analysis, SST around Japan was homogeneously changed by 1 K from the original SST data. The analysis showed that the SST increase led to a larger amount of precipitation in the study period in Japan, with the mean increase rate of precipitation being 13 ± 8% K−1. In addition, 99 percentile precipitation (100 mm d−1 in the baseline case) increased by 13% K−1 of SST warming. These results also indicate that an uncertainty of approximately 13% in the simulated heavy rainfall corresponds to an uncertainty of 1 K in SST data around Japan in the study period. View Full-Text
Keywords: WRF; sensitivity analysis; global warming; heavy rain; sea surface temperature WRF; sensitivity analysis; global warming; heavy rain; sea surface temperature

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Minamiguchi, Y.; Shimadera, H.; Matsuo, T.; Kondo, A. Numerical Simulation of Heavy Rainfall in August 2014 over Japan and Analysis of Its Sensitivity to Sea Surface Temperature. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 84.

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