Sensitivity of the Himalayan orography representation in simulation of winter precipitation using Regional Climate Model (RegCM) nested in a GCM

P. R. Tiwari, S. C. Kar, U. C. Mohanty, S. Dey, P. Sinha, M. S. Shekhar

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Abstract

The role of the Himalayan orography representationin a Regional Climate Model (RegCM4) nested inNCMRWF global spectral model is examined in simulatingthe winter circulation and associated precipitation over theNorthwest India (NWI; 23°–37.5°N and 69°–85°E) region.For this purpose, nine different set of orography representationsfor nine distinct precipitation years (three years eachfor wet, normal and dry) have been considered by increasing(decreasing) 5, 10, 15, and 20% from the mean height(CNTRL) of the Himalaya in RegCM4 model. Validationwith various observations revealed a good improvementin reproducing the precipitation intensity and distributionwith increased model height compared to the resultsobtained from CNTRL and reduced orography experiments.Further it has been found that, increase in heightby 10% (P10) increases seasonal precipitation about 20%,while decrease in height by 10% (M10) results around 28%reduction in seasonal precipitation as compared to CNTRLexperiment over NWI region. This improvement in precipitationsimulation comes due to better representation ofvertical pressure velocity and moisture transport as thesefactors play an important role in wintertime precipitationprocesses over NWI region. Furthermore, a comparison of model-simulated precipitation with observed precipitationat 17 station locations has been also carried out. Overall,the results suggest that when the orographic increment of10% (P10) is applied on RegCM4 model, it has better skillin simulating the precipitation over the NWI region andthis model is a useful tool for further regional downscalingstudies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4157-4170
Number of pages14
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume49
Issue number11-12
Early online date24 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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