Climate Dynamics

, Volume 50, Issue 11–12, pp 4127–4147 | Cite as

Multi-ensemble regional simulation of Indian monsoon during contrasting rainfall years: role of convective schemes and nested domain

  • Anjana Devanand
  • Subimal Ghosh
  • Supantha Paul
  • Subhankar Karmakar
  • Dev Niyogi


Regional simulations of the seasonal Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR) require an understanding of the model sensitivities to physics and resolution, and its effect on the model uncertainties. It is also important to quantify the added value in the simulated sub-regional precipitation characteristics by a regional climate model (RCM), when compared to coarse resolution rainfall products. This study presents regional model simulations of ISMR at seasonal scale using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with the synoptic scale forcing from ERA-interim reanalysis, for three contrasting monsoon seasons, 1994 (excess), 2002 (deficit) and 2010 (normal). Impact of four cumulus schemes, viz., Kain–Fritsch (KF), Betts–Janjić–Miller, Grell 3D and modified Kain–Fritsch (KFm), and two micro physical parameterization schemes, viz., WRF Single Moment Class 5 scheme and Lin et al. scheme (LIN), with eight different possible combinations are analyzed. The impact of spectral nudging on model sensitivity is also studied. In WRF simulations using spectral nudging, improvement in model rainfall appears to be consistent in regions with topographic variability such as Central Northeast and Konkan Western Ghat sub-regions. However the results are also dependent on choice of cumulus scheme used, with KF and KFm providing relatively good performance and the eight member ensemble mean showing better results for these sub-regions. There is no consistent improvement noted in Northeast and Peninsular Indian monsoon regions. Results indicate that the regional simulations using nested domains can provide some improvements on ISMR simulations. Spectral nudging is found to improve upon the model simulations in terms of reducing the intra ensemble spread and hence the uncertainty in the model simulated precipitation. The results provide important insights regarding the need for further improvements in the regional climate simulations of ISMR for various sub-regions and contribute to the understanding of the added value in seasonal simulations by RCMs.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India vide Grant no. MoES/PAMC/H&C/35/2013-PC-II. The first and second authors acknowledge the financial support from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Grant no. DST/CC/PR/06/2011. The last author acknowledges the financial support from Grants US NSF AGS 0847472, AGS-1522494, and CDSE 1250232. The precipitation data used here are available from India Meteorological Department. The forcing reanalysis data are available from the website of ECMWF.

Supplementary material

382_2017_3864_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1644 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Program in Climate StudiesIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia
  4. 4.Department of Agronomy and Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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