Evaluation of the WRF-ARW model during an extreme rainfall event: Subtropical storm Guará

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Yasmin Kaore Lago Kitagawa
Erick Giovani Sperandio Nascimento
Noéle Bissoli Perini Souza
Pedro Junior Zucatelli
Prashant Kumar
Taciana Toledo de Almeida Albuquerque
Marcelo Romero de Moraes
Davidson Martins Moreira


This study simulates an unusual extreme rainfall event that occurred in Salvador city, Bahia, Brazil, on December 9, 2017, which was named subtropical storm Guará and had precipitation of approximately 24 mm within less than 1 h. Numerical simulations were conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over three domains with horizontal resolutions of 9, 3, and 1 km. Different combinations of seven microphysics, three cumulus, and three planetary boundary layer schemes were evaluated based on their ability to simulate the hourly precipitation during this rainfall event. Statistical indices (MB = –0.69; RMSE = 4.11; MAGE = 1.74; r = 0.55; IOA = 0.66; FAC2 = 0.58) and time series plots showed that the most suitable configurations for this weather event were the Mellor-Yamada-Janjić, Grell-Freitas, and Lin formulations for the planetary boundary layer, cumulus, and microphysics schemes, respectively. The results were compared with the data measured at meteorological stations located in Salvador city. The WRF model simulated well the arrival and occurrence of this extreme weather event in a tropical and coastal region, considering that the region already has intense convective characteristics and is constantly influenced by sea breezes, which could interfere in the model results and compromise the performance of the simulations.


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