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Open AccessArticle

The Impacts of Soil Moisture Initialization on the Forecasts of Weather Research and Forecasting Model: A Case Study in Xinjiang, China

1
Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China
2
College of Resources and Environmental Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China
3
Xinjiang Meteorological Observatory, Urumqi 830002, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(7), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071892
Received: 17 May 2020 / Revised: 21 June 2020 / Accepted: 28 June 2020 / Published: 2 July 2020
Soil moisture is a critical parameter in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models because it plays a fundamental role in the exchange of water and energy cycles between the atmosphere and the land surface through evaporation. To improve the forecast skills of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model in Xinjiang, China, this study investigated the impacts of soil moisture initialization on the WRF forecasts by performing a series of simulations. A group of simulations was conducted using the single-column model (SCM) from 1200 UTC on 15 to 18 August 2019, at Urumchi, Xinjiang (43.78° N, 87.6° E); another was performed using the WRF model for a real weather case in Xinjiang from 0000 UTC 15 August to 1200 UTC 18 August 2019, which included an episode of heavy precipitation and gales. Our most notable findings are as follows. Specific humidity increases and potential temperature decreases persistently when soil moisture increases because of soil water evaporation. Soil moisture initialization could impact the energy budget and modulate the partition of the total available energy at the land surface significantly through evaporation and the greenhouse effect. Replacing the soil moisture with a proper multiple of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) soil moisture data could significantly improve the critical success index (CSI) and frequency bias (FBIAS) of precipitation and the root-mean-squared errors (RMSEs) of 2-m specific humidity and 2-m temperature. These findings indicate the prospect of a new way to improve the forecast skills of WRF in Xinjiang or other similar regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil moisture; WRF; evaporation; precipitation; land–atmosphere interaction; energy budget soil moisture; WRF; evaporation; precipitation; land–atmosphere interaction; energy budget
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, H.; Liu, J.; Li, H.; Meng, X.; Ablikim, A. The Impacts of Soil Moisture Initialization on the Forecasts of Weather Research and Forecasting Model: A Case Study in Xinjiang, China. Water 2020, 12, 1892. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071892

AMA Style

Zhang H, Liu J, Li H, Meng X, Ablikim A. The Impacts of Soil Moisture Initialization on the Forecasts of Weather Research and Forecasting Model: A Case Study in Xinjiang, China. Water. 2020; 12(7):1892. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071892

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Hailiang; Liu, Junjian; Li, Huoqing; Meng, Xianyong; Ablikim, Ablimitijan. 2020. "The Impacts of Soil Moisture Initialization on the Forecasts of Weather Research and Forecasting Model: A Case Study in Xinjiang, China" Water 12, no. 7: 1892. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071892

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