2016 Volume 94A Pages 89-103
The characteristics of diurnal precipitation variability are evaluated over the tropical Maritime Continent (MC) from both satellite observations and high-resolution simulations performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.
Simulations using the Kain-Fritsch convective scheme showed a slight improvement in representing the precipitation diurnal cycle compared with those using the other two schemes examined here. The influence of boundary forcing was compared between the National Center for Environmental Prediction-Final Analysis (NCEP-FNL) and the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM). In these experiments, simulations with NCEP-FNL data as lateral boundary conditions outperformed those with NorESM boundary conditions. All WRF simulations exaggerated the amplitude of diurnal precipitation over the land. However, the WRF captured the principal shape of the observed diurnal cycle well. An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis was applied and the first two modes from satellite data explained up to about 80 % of the total diurnal variance. The results confirm that the land-sea breeze circulation plays a significant role in the diurnal cycle of precipitation. The radiatively induced land-sea breeze circulation and its timing were well reproduced in the WRF simulations. These results suggest that higher resolution simulations that reproduce˜heterogeneous local-scale processes are likely necessary in order to resolve diurnal variability of precipitation and its future changes over the MC.