Role of Planetary Boundary Layer Processes in the Simulation of Tropical Cyclones Over the Bay of Bengal

K. Vijaya Kumari, S. Karuna Sagar, Yesubabu Viswanadhapalli, Hari Prasad Dasari, S. Vijaya Bhaskara Rao

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19 Scopus citations


The behaviour of planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes initialized at different life stages of a tropical cyclone (TC) is studied by considering seven Bay of Bengal TC cases. In each TC case, the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model is initialized at four life stages (depression to very severe cyclone storm) with National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global analysis and integrated up to 96 h. A set of six PBL sensitivity experiments are conducted at four stages for all seven TC cases to analyse the impact of the model boundary layer in simulating the TC track and intensity parameters. The model-produced track, intensity and rainfall patterns are evaluated with the best track, intensity and gridded rainfall estimates obtained from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The spatial and radius/height section simulated fields are evaluated with satellite retrievals. Results depict that the six PBL schemes during model initialization at different stages of a TC have produced sizable differences in the simulation of track and intensity parameters. The local and nonlocal schemes produced different results based on the TC stage at which the model is initialized. The results also suggest that if the model is initialized with a non-organized cyclonic vortex such as depression stage of the storm, PBL schemes exhibit high sensitivity and spread in terms of both track and intensity. While the spread between PBL schemes was significantly reduced and found close to the observed estimates when the model was initialized at the advanced stages of the TC. In addition, the local 1.5-order closure scheme simulated the storm parameters relatively better when the cyclone vortex was not well organized in the model's initial conditions, while the non-local and first-order closure schemes perform better with initial model conditions of a well-defined cyclonic vortex.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-977
Number of pages27
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors thank the ISRO-RESPOND project for providing financial support and necessary facilities to carry out the research work. We also thank the UGC, Government of India for providing the high-performance computing cluster (HPC) to carry out the experiments. The Indian Meteorological Department is acknowledged for providing the best track data and DWR products. The authors acknowledge the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) and NOAA for providing various real-time cyclone products and CMORPH rainfall data used for the study.


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