Natural Hazards

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 1471–1496 | Cite as

On the role of the Planetary Boundary Layer in the numerical simulation of a severe cyclonic storm Nargis using a mesoscale model

  • S. S. V. S. Ramakrishna
  • N. Vijaya Saradhi
  • C. V. Srinivas
Original paper


The very severe cyclonic storm Nargis of 2008 was a strong tropical cyclone that caused the deadliest natural disaster in the history of Myanmar. The time tested NCAR/PSU MM5 model has been used to simulate the Nargis cyclone, which is designed to have two domains covering the Bay of Bengal with horizontal resolutions of 90 and 30 km. The physics options chosen are Kain–Fritsch 2 for convection, Blackadar (BLA), Burk–Thompson, medium range forecast (MRF), Eta Mellor–Yamada (Eta MY) and Gayno–Seaman (GS) for Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) and Simple Ice for explicit cloud physics processes. The experiment was conducted with the model integration starting from April 27, 2008, to May 3, 2008. The performance of the five PBL schemes is evaluated in terms of radius height cross-section of the three component winds, surface heat fluxes of sensible heat and latent heat, equivalent potential temperature (θ e ), precipitation, track and variation of Central Surface Pressure and wind speed with time. The numerical results show a large impact of the PBL schemes on the intensity and movement of the system. The intensity of the storm is examined in terms of pressure drop, strength of the surface wind and rainfall associated with the storm. The results are compared to the India Meteorological Department observations. These experiments indicate that the intensity of the storm is well simulated with the Eta MY and BLA with finer resolution. The simulated track with MRF compared well with the Joint Typhoon Warning Center observation at landfall position both with the 90 and 30 km resolutions.


Planetary Boundary Layer Mesoscale model Tropical cyclone Intensity Movement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. V. S. Ramakrishna
    • 1
  • N. Vijaya Saradhi
    • 1
  • C. V. Srinivas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Meteorology & OceanographyAndhra UniversityVisakhapatnamIndia
  2. 2.Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic ResearchKalpakkamIndia

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