21st Conference on Hydrology


Improved modeling of land-atmosphere interactions using a coupled version of WRF with the Land Information System

Jonathan L. Case, ENSCO, Inc., Huntsville, AL; and K. M. LaCasse, J. A. Santanello, W. M. Lapenta, and C. D. Peters-Lidard

The exchange of energy and moisture between the Earth's surface and the atmospheric boundary layer plays a critical role in many hydrometeorological processes. Accurate and high-resolution representations of surface properties such as sea-surface temperature (SST), vegetation, soil temperature and moisture content, and ground fluxes are necessary to better understand the Earth-atmosphere interactions and improve numerical predictions of weather and climate phenomena. The NASA/NWS Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center is currently investigating the potential benefits of assimilating high-resolution datasets derived from the NASA moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and the Goddard Space Flight Center Land Information System (LIS).

The LIS is a software framework that integrates satellite and ground-based observational and modeled data along with multiple land surface models (LSMs) and advanced computing tools to accurately characterize land surface states and fluxes. The LIS can be run uncoupled to provide a high-resolution land surface initial condition, and can also be run in a coupled mode with WRF to integrate surface and soil quantities using any of the LSMs available in LIS. The LIS also includes the ability to optimize the initialization of surface and soil variables by tuning the spin-up time period and atmospheric forcing parameters, which cannot be done in the standard WRF. Among the datasets available from MODIS, a leaf-area index field and composite SST analysis are used to improve the lower boundary and initial conditions to the LIS/WRF coupled model over both land and water.

Experiments will be conducted to measure the potential benefits from using the coupled LIS/WRF model over the Florida peninsula during May 2004. This month experienced relatively benign weather conditions, which will allow the experiments to focus on the local and mesoscale impacts of the high-resolution MODIS datasets and optimized soil and surface initial conditions. Follow-on experiments will examine the utility of such an optimized WRF configuration for more complex weather scenarios such as convective initiation. This paper will provide an overview of the experiment design and present preliminary results from selected cases in May 2004.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (584K)

wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Supplementary URL: http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/sport/

Session 5A, Land-Atmosphere Interactions 2
Thursday, 18 January 2007, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM, 209

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