Wen, XH; Lu, SH; Jin, JM (2012). Integrating Remote Sensing Data with WRF for Improved Simulations of Oasis Effects on Local Weather Processes over an Arid Region in Northwestern China. JOURNAL OF HYDROMETEOROLOGY, 13(2), 573-587.
Land use/cover types derived by satellite remote sensing data from the Earth Observing System Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were used to replace the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). Simulations in this study were further improved by modifying the initial fields of WRF with soil temperature and moisture observations, because these two variables are important to producing "cold-wet island" effects. A series of WRF simulations were performed to describe microclimate characteristics and the local thermal circulation generated by the inhomogeneous surface over the Jinta oasis, which is located in Gansu-a northwestern province of China. Comparison between simulations and observations showed that the WRF results produced with observed soil temperature and moisture initializations agreed well with near-surface measurements of air temperature, relative humidity, and wind direction. Moreover, low temperatures over the oasis were found to coexist with high temperatures over the bare land, further leading to developments of local atmospheric circulation. The simulated winds over the oasis showed airmass divergence over the surface layer, triggering local circulation in the upper level. The integration of the MODIS land use/cover data with WRF and the initialization of WRF's soil temperature and moisture with in situ observations improved the simulations in air temperature, relative humidity, and heat fluxes. These improvements enabled the WRF to reproduce the observed "cold and wet island" effects of the oasis.