Observing and Understanding the Variability of Water in Weather and Climate


The Water Cycle and Precipitation Recycling during the 1993 United States Flood

Michael G. Bosilovich, NASA/GMAO, Greenbelt, MD; and L. Takacs, S. Schubert, and G. K. Walker

During June and July of 1993, devastating and persistent rainfall caused substantial damage in the Midwest United States primarily focused on the Mississippi River Basin. Above normal springtime rains primed the region for flooding. The resulting wet soil was thought to be a major source of water for the heavy summer precipitation. On the other hand, northward moisture transport was extremely intense during the summer.

In this study, we have implemented passive tracers to diagnose the geographic source of water for precipitation, called Water Vapor Tracers (WVT), into the NASA Data Assimilation Office (DAO) Data Assimilation System (DAS). The WVT diagnostics can produce detailed budgets of the geographical sources of water that precipitates in any region, and they consider physical and dynamical tendencies at the model time step. The 1993 summer has been reanalyzed with the new WVT diagnostics to better understand the local and remote source of water for precipitation during the 1993 flood. Because the DAS also uses observations of water in the atmospheric hydrologic budget, we will also evaluate the impact of the observations on the local and remote sources of water and on the precipitation in the DAS.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (320K)

Supplementary URL: http://dao.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Session 3, Weather and climate modeling of water in all its phases
Tuesday, 11 February 2003, 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

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