Future intensification of hydro-meteorological extremes: downscaling using the weather research and forecasting model

R. El-Samra, Elie R. Bou-Zeid, H. K. Bangalath, G. Stenchikov, M. El-Fadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A set of ten downscaling simulations at high spatial resolution (3 km horizontally) were performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to generate future climate projections of annual and seasonal temperature and precipitation changes over the Eastern Mediterranean (with a focus on Lebanon). The model was driven with the High Resolution Atmospheric Model (HiRAM), running over the whole globe at a resolution of 25 km, under the conditions of two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) (4.5 and 8.5). Each downscaling simulation spanned one year. Two past years (2003 and 2008), also forced by HiRAM without data assimilation, were simulated to evaluate the model’s ability to capture the cold and wet (2003) and hot and dry (2008) extremes. The downscaled data were in the range of recent observed climatic variability, and therefore corrected for the cold bias of HiRAM. Eight future years were then selected based on an anomaly score that relies on the mean annual temperature and accumulated precipitation to identify the worst year per decade from a water resources perspective. One hot and dry year per decade, from 2011 to 2050, and per scenario was simulated and compared to the historic 2008 reference. The results indicate that hot and dry future extreme years will be exacerbated and the study area might be exposed to a significant decrease in annual precipitation (rain and snow), reaching up to 30% relative to the current extreme conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3765-3785
Number of pages21
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume49
Issue number11-12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Complex topography
  • Extreme heat
  • HiRAM
  • Mediterranean
  • WRF

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