Improving WRF-Hydro runoff simulations of heavy floods through the sea surface temperature fields with higher spatio-temporal resolution


Kilicarslan B. M. , YÜCEL İ. , Pilatin H., DÜZENLİ E. , YILMAZ M. T.

HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES, vol.35, no.9, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/hyp.14338
  • Title of Journal : HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES
  • Keywords: calibration, GHRSST, Medspiration, sea surface temperature, WRF, WRF-hydro, EXTREME RAINFALL, FLASH FLOODS, MODEL, EVENTS, SYSTEM, PRECIPITATION, VARIABILITY, CLIMATE, IMPACT, SENSITIVITY

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of the spatio-temporal accuracy of four different sea surface temperature (SST) datasets on the accuracy of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)-Hydro system to simulate hydrological response during two catastrophic flood events over the Eastern Black Sea (EBS) and the Mediterranean (MED) regions of Turkey. Three time-variant and high spatial resolution external SST products (GHRSST, Medspiration and NCEP-SST) and one coarse-resolution and time-invariant SST product (ERA5- and GFS-SST for EBS and MED regions, respectively) already embedded in the initial and the boundary conditions datasets of WRF model are used in deriving near-surface atmospheric variables through WRF. After the proper event-based calibration is performed to the WRF-Hydro system using hourly and daily streamflow data in both regions, uncoupled model simulations for independent SST events are conducted to assess the impact of SST-triggered precipitation on simulated extreme runoff. Some localized and temporal differences in the occurrence of the flood events with respect to observations depending on the SST representation are noticeable. SST products represented with higher cross-correlations (GHRSST and Medspiration) revealed significant improvement in flood hydrographs for both regions. The GHRSST dataset shows a substantial improvement in NSE (similar to 70%), RMSE reduction up to 20%, and an increase in correlation from 0.3 to 0.8 with respect to the invariable SST (ERA5) in simulated runoffs over the EBS region. The use of both GHRSST and Medspiration SST data characterized with high spatiotemporal correlation resulted in runoff simulations exactly matching the observed runoff peak of 300 m(3)/s by reducing the overestimation seen in invariable SST (GFS) in the MED region. Improved precipitation simulation skills of the WRF model with the detailed SST representation show that the hydrographs of GHRSST and Medspiration simulations show better performance compared to the simulated hydrographs by observed precipitation.