Assessing the impacts of temporal resolution of precipitation forcing data on the surface energy and water balance
In urban climate research, spatial and temporal variability of precipitation is always a critical element for numerical modelling. However, the effects of temporal resolution of precipitation forcing data has received little attention. Moreover, there has always been a difference practically and theoretically in the availability of precipitation data. This study was carried out to assess the impact of temporal resolution of precipitation forcing data on the modelled surface energy and water balance using available data from a site at the Strand campus of Kings College London. Analysis has been carried out using 5 minute rainfall data as a reference, compared with rainfall data accumulated to various temporal resolutions. The results suggest that as the temporal resolution of precipitation forcing data decreased, there are significant impacts on the modelled output depending on the timing of rainfall occurrence, rainfall intensity and the rainfall duration. The modelled evaporation and runoff, as well as other variables such as the turbulent heat fluxes, tends to deviate from referenced rainfall data. For days with daily total rainfall amount more than median but less than maximum, results shows more significant impacts on the modelled surface energy balance and water balance. Under conditions of no rain, as expected, the impacts of temporal resolution were less significant. This study highlights the importance of high resolution precipitation forcing data in urban areas for modelling for a wide range of applications.
Notes: A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master in Applied Meteorology and Climate with Management AMCM) - If you wish to download the full text, please contact library(at)wmo.int (Please replace (at) by @).