Summer Convective Afternoon Rainfall Simulation and Projection Using WRF Driven by Global Climate Model. Part I: Over Taiwan

  • Author(s): Wan-Ru Huang, Ya-Hui Chang, Chao-Tzuen Cheng, Huang-Hsiung Hsu, Chia-Ying Tu, and Akio Kitoh
  • DOI:


  • Keywords: Dynamical downscaling, Model simulations, Local rainfall, Taiwan
  • Citation: Huang, W. R., Y. H. Chang, C. T. Cheng, H. H. Hsu, C. Y. Tu, and A. Kitoh, 2016: Summer convective afternoon rainfall simulation and projection using WRF driven by global climate model. Part I: Over Taiwan. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 27, 659-671, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2016.05.02.01
  • The dynamical downscaling approach generates a more realistic rainfall simulation
  • CAR amount over southwest Taiwan will decrease due to decrease in CAR frequency
  • Change in CAR frequency is linked to change in wind convergence and instability

This paper is the first of a two-part study that investigates summer convective afternoon rainfall (CAR) activity over the East Asian continent through simulation and projection. We focus on the CAR activity over Taiwan in Part I. In Part II, the changes in CAR activity over South China and Luzon are examined. Using the WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) model driven by two super-high resolution global climate models: HiRAM (High Resolution Atmospheric Model) and MRI (Meteorological Research Institute Atmospheric General Circulation Model), this study evaluates the performance of models (HiRAM, MRI, and WRF) used to simulate the summer CAR activity over Taiwan. The evaluations focus on the spatial-temporal variations in CAR activity during two time periods: the present-day (1979 - 2003, historical run) and the future (2075 - 2099, RCP8.5 scenario). For the present-day simulations, analyses indicate that both HiRAM and MRI cannot accurately simulate the temporal evolution of diurnal rainfall. This timing shift problem can be fixed after dynamical downscaling using WRF. The WRF dynamical downscaling approach also helps generate a more realistic CAR amount simulation over western Taiwan, where most residents live. In future projections all models predict that a significant decrease in CAR amount will occur over southwest Taiwan. This decrease in CAR amount is suggested due to the decrease in CAR frequency, not a change in the CAR rate. All models suggest that the cause of decrease in CAR frequency over southwest Taiwan is weaker local afternoon surface wind convergence and thermal instability to suppress CAR genesis.

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