15C.4 Evaluation of the Surface Wind Field in a High-Resolution Simulation of the Landfall of Hurricane Wilma (2005) by Comparison to In Situ Wind Measurements

Friday, 14 May 2010: 8:45 AM
Arizona Ballroom 10-12 (JW MArriott Starr Pass Resort)
David S. Nolan, Univ. of Miami/RSMAS, Miami, FL; and J. A. Zhang, M. D. Powell, and F. J. Masters

In a previous study, the representation of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) and the surface wind field in high-resolution simulations of Isabel (2003) were evaluated by comparison of model output to an array of in-situ observations in the same storm. This work continues in the same spirit, but in regards to the PBL and surface winds as simulated for a hurricane over land. This case study uses the landfall of Hurricane Wilma over South Florida in October 2005. Simulations using the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model with 3km and 1km resolution and with a variety of PBL parameterization schemes are compared to quality-controlled data from airports, towers, and other automated observing stations in the region. Preliminary results show that a straightforward implementation of the WRF model for this case results in greatly underestimated surface wind fields for the event. This work should lead to improvments in the PBL and surface layers schemes and/or modifications to widely used values for surface roughness over land. Ultimately, high resolution forecast models should be able to provide accurate and useful information about the surface wind field over land, much as they do now over the ocean.
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