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Study Applies Customized Non-Hydrostatic Model to Simulate Cloud-Precipitation Processes over the UAE

As part of its continued efforts to promote scientific advancement and new technologies in rain enhancement, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) supported a project titled ‘Advanced Study on Precipitation Enhancement in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions’, undertaken by Professor Masataka Murakami, a First Cycle Awardee of the program, and a scientist at Japan’s Meteorological Research Institute.

The project applied the cloud seeding model developed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Non-Hydrostatic Model (JMA-NHM) to assess seedability and evaluate cloud seeding effects. As the JMA-NHM model was originally developed for the prediction of mid-latitude humid weather around Japan, it was necessary to optimize the model configuration, especially in terms of land surface characteristics, for its application to the arid environment of the UAE.

A one-year hindcast experiment was conducted with both original configuration, which is well tuned for mid-latitude humid conditions around Japan, and a new configuration, which represents a much drier land surface condition. The model was applied to the present numerical experiment using the same configuration as the original weather forecast model operational in Japan.

The new configuration produced much better results in terms of the diurnal variation of Land Surface Temperature (LST) and consequent Surface Air Tmperature (SAT), resulting in cloud formation and precipitation development over the desert areas in the UAE. It found that the most effective factors for improving results are the threshold of soil water content and the parameters associated with surface and soil heat flux.

The sensitivity of the simulation results to the model configuration was examined with respect to individual land surface characteristics and the horizontal resolution of the model. The results demonstrate the usefulness and credibility of the model application to the investigation of cloud and precipitation processes over the UAE, which is critical to precipitation enhancement research.

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