Argonne National Laboratory

Resolution Dependence in Modeling Extreme Weather Events

TitleResolution Dependence in Modeling Extreme Weather Events
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsTaylor, JA, Larson, JW
Date Published06/2001
Other NumbersANL/CGC-009-0601

<p>At Argonne National Laboratory we have developed a high-performance regional climate modeling system based on the NCAR MM5v3.4 mesoscale weather forecasting model. The Argonne system currently includes a Java-based interface to allow rapid selection and generation of initial and boundary conditions, a high-performance version of MM5v3.4 modified for long climate simulations on supercomputers (including Argonne�s 512-processor Linux cluster, Chiba City), an interactive Web-based analysis tool to facilitate analysis and collaboration via the Web, and an enhanced version of the CAVE5d software capable of working with large climate data sets. We illustrate the application of this modeling system to the study of the climate of the U.S. Midwest. In particular, we investigate the role of model resolution in predicting extreme events, such as \"Hurricane Huron\" event of 11-15 September 1996. We have performed a series of \"Hurricane Huron\" experiments at 80, 40, 20, and 10 km grid resolution over an identical spatiotemporal domain. We conclude that increasing model resolution in our regional climate simulations leads to dramatic changes in the vertical structure of the simulated atmosphere, producing significantly different representations of rainfall, wind velocities, and other parameters critical to the assessment of impacts of climate change. Future climate simulations at regional resolution could provide a much more realistic basis for the assessment of the impacts of future climate change on both natural and human systems.</p>