The climate of southeast Australia was simulated using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. WRF was implmented using both a 10km and 50km horizontal grid and run for 25 years from 1985-2009. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Centers forEnvironmental Prediction (NCEP) / National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis supplied the lateral boundary conditions. The model simulated climate was evaluated against station-based observations of the McArthur Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI), used to denote the fire weather conditions and the likelihood of putting out any fires which may occur. WRF was evaluated against measures of average and extreme FFDI. WRF showed skill in simulating the main features of the FFDI distribution and their spatial variation. Biases
in the model simulated climatewere biggest at the uppermost values of the FFDI distribution e.g. days above 50. Increasing teh resolution improved the performance of the simulations in most cases, although often only marginally. The skill shown by WRF in simulating regional climate in southeast Australia suggests it is suitable for use in downscaling projections from global climate models for this part of the world, provided that known biases in simulating extreme values are taken into account.
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Last updated 31st January 2013