26 Enhancing the NOAA National Water Center WRF-Hydro model architecture to improve representation of the Midwest and Southwest CONUS climate regions

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Timothy M. Lahmers, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and C. L. Castro, H. V. Gupta, D. J. Gochis, A. Dugger, and M. Smith

The NOAA National Water Model (NWM), which is based on the WRF-Hydro architecture, became operational in summer of 2016 to produce streamflow forecasts nationwide. In order to improve the physical process representation of NWM/WRF-Hydro, a parameterized channel infiltration function is added to the Muskingum-Cunge channel routing scheme. Representation of transmission losses along streams was previously not supported by WRF-Hydro, even though most channels in the southwest CONUS have a high depth to groundwater, and are consequently a source for recharge throughout the region. The LSM, routing grid, baseflow bucket model, and channel parameters of the modified version of NWM/WRF-Hydro are calibrated using spatial regularization in selected basins in the Midwest and Southwest CONUS. WRF-Hydro is calibrated and tested in the Verde, San Pedro, Little Sioux, Nishnabotna, and Wapsipinicon basins. The model is forced with NCEP Stage-IV and NLDAS-2 precipitation for calibration, and the effects of the precipitation climatology, including extreme events, on model performance are considered. This work advances the regional performance of WRF-Hydro through process enhancement and calibration that is highly relevant for improving model fidelity in semi-arid climates.
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