Observation- and numerical-analysis-based dynamics of the Uttarkashi cloudburst

C. Chaudhuri, S. Tripathi, R. Srivastava, A. Misra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Abstract. A Himalayan cloudburst event, which occurred on 3 August 2012 in the Uttarkashi (30.73° N, 78.45° E) region of Uttarakhand, India, was analyzed. The near-surface atmospheric variables were analyzed to study the formation, evolution, and triggering mechanisms of this cloudburst. In order to improve upon the understanding provided by the observations, numerical simulations were performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, configured with a single domain at 18 km resolution. The model was tuned using variation of different parameterizations (convective, microphysical, boundary layer, radiation, and land surface), and different model options (number of vertical levels, and spin-up time), which resulted in a combination of parameters and options that best reproduced the observed diurnal characteristics of the near-surface atmospheric variables. Our study demonstrates the ability of WRF in forecasting precipitation, and resolving synoptic-scale and mesoscale interactions. In order to better understand the cloudburst, we configured WRF with multiply nested two-way-interacting domains (18, 6, 2 km) centered on the location of interest, and simulated the event with the best configuration derived earlier. The results indicate that two mesoscale convective systems originating from Madhya Pradesh and Tibet interacted over Uttarkashi and, under orographic uplifting and in the presence of favorable moisture condition, resulted in this cloudburst event.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-686
Number of pages16
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-10-07
Acknowledgements: The data used in this study are obtained from the Research Data Archive (RDA), which is maintained by the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Meteosat-7 satellite imageries are downloaded from the archive of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, Space Science and Engineering Center/University of Wisconsin, Madison. The vertical sounding data are downloaded from Department of
Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming. The authors gratefully acknowledge the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) for the provision of the HYSPLIT transport and dispersion model and READY website (http://www.ready.noaa.gov) used in this publication. TRMM data used in this study were acquired from NASA Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC). We are thankful to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for providing AWS observations. We want to thank P. Jish Prakash, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, for his valuable help in conceptualization of the problem addressed in this paper
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Observation- and numerical-analysis-based dynamics of the Uttarkashi cloudburst'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this