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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-363
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
07 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Evaluation of the WRF model with different domain configurations and spin-up time in reproducing a sub-daily extreme rainfall event in Beijing, China
Qi Chu1,2, Zongxue Xu1, Yiheng Chen2, and Dawei Han2 1College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100085, China
2Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, UK
Abstract. The use of rainfall outputs from the latest convection-scale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is proven to be an effective way to extend the prediction lead time for flood forecasting. In this study, the effects of WRF domain configurations and spin-up time on rainfall simulations were evaluated at high temporal (sub-daily) and spatial (convective-permitting) scales for simulating a regional sub-daily extreme rainfall event occurred in Beijing, China. Seven objective verification metrics calculated against the ground precipitation observations and the ERA-Interim reanalysis, were analyzed jointly by the subjective verification to explore the likely best set of domain configurations and spin-up time. It was found that the rainfall simulations were quite sensitive to the change of the WRF domain size and spin-up time when evaluated at the convective scale. A model run with 1 : 5 : 5 horizontal downscaling ratio (1.6 km), 57 vertical layers (0.5 km), and 60-hour spin-up time covering Northern China exhibited the best skill in terms of the accuracy of rainfall intensity and the spatial correlation coefficient (R). Comparison made between the optimal run with the above set of the configurations and the initial run of the comparative test setup based on the most common settings revealed an evidential increase in each verification metric after the evaluation process, with R increased from 0.49 to 0.678, the relative error of point maximum precipitation rose from 0.41 to 0.881, and the spatial accumulated error fell by 43.22 %. In summary, the reevaluation of the domain configurations and spin-up time is of great importance and worthwhile in improving the accuracy and reliability of the rainfall simulations in the regional sub-daily heavy rainfall (SDHR) applications.

Citation: Chu, Q., Xu, Z., Chen, Y., and Han, D.: Evaluation of the WRF model with different domain configurations and spin-up time in reproducing a sub-daily extreme rainfall event in Beijing, China, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-363, in review, 2017.
Qi Chu et al.
Qi Chu et al.
Qi Chu et al.

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Short summary
The effects of WRF domain configurations and spin-up time on rainfall were evaluated at high temporal and spatial scales for simulating an extreme sub-daily heavy rainfall (SDHR) event. Both objective verification metrics and subjective verification were used to identify the likely best set of the configurations. Results show that reevaluation of these WRF settings is of great importance in improving the accuracy and reliability of the rainfall simulations in the regional SDHR applications.
The effects of WRF domain configurations and spin-up time on rainfall were evaluated at high...
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