The life cycle of extreme rainfall events over western Saudi Arabia simulated by a regional climate model: Case study of November 1996

M. ALMAZROUI

Abstract

A Regional Climate Model (RCM) is employed to simulate and understand the life cycle of the two systems that produced heavy rainfall spells over western Saudi Arabia in November 1996. The first spell of heavy rain occurred from 13 to 20 November, whereas the second occurred from 25 to 27 November 1996. Their spatial patterns are compared with rain-gauge data and also with the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP) and the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) gridded observations. A series of 144 experiments are conducted for different domain sizes and resolution as well as different boundary forcings and convective parameterization schemes to investigate the optimum combination for the simulation of the two spells. The RCM simulates well the development, the propagation and the lifecycle of the first spell (8-day long) as well as the second spell (3-day long) during November 1996. In particular, the simulation demonstrates how the two systems developed, merged with new cells, reached to maturity, and then decayed, as they moved eastward across the Red Sea, producing rain in the study region. A focus over Jeddah station reveals that the RCM simulated well the peak and amount of rainfall for both spells. However, the first peak is 1-day shifted, whilst the second peak is underestimated.

Keywords

Regional climate model (RCM); Saudi Arabia; rainfall event; life cycle

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