Modeling the hydroclimatology of Kuwait: The role of subcloud evaporation in semiarid climates

Title Modeling the hydroclimatology of Kuwait: The role of subcloud evaporation in semiarid climates
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication 2008
Authors Marcella, M. P. & Eltahir, E. A. B.
Journal Journal of Climate
Volume 21
Date Published 2008
Keywords Modeling summertime temperatures over desert regions
Abstract new subcloud layer evaporation scheme is incorporated into Regional Climate Model, version 3 (RegCM3), to better simulate the rainfall distribution over a semiarid region around Kuwait. The new scheme represents subcloud layer evaporation of convective as well as large-scale rainfall. Model results are compared to observations from rain gauge data networks and satellites. The simulations show significant response to the incorporation of subcloud layer evaporation as a reduction by as much as 20% in annual rainfall occurs over the region. As a result, the new model simulations of annual rainfall are within 15% of observations. In addition, results indicate that the interannual variability of rainfall simulated by RegCM3 is sensitive to the specification of boundary conditions. For example, forcing RegCM3’s lateral boundary conditions with the 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data, instead of NCEP-NCAR’s Reanalysis Project 2 (NNRP2), reduces interannual variability by over 25%. Moreover, with subcloud layer evaporation incorporated and ERA-40 boundary conditions implemented, the model’s bias and root-mean-square error are significantly reduced. Therefore, the model’s ability to reproduce observed annual rainfall and the year-to-year variation of rainfall is greatly improved. Thus, these results elucidate the critical role of this natural process in simulating the hydroclimatology of semiarid climates. Last, a large discrepancy between observation datasets over the region is observed. It is believed that the inherent characteristics that are used to construct these datasets explain the differences observed in the annual and interannual variability of Kuwait’s rainfall.

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