• Great Lakes;
  • MODIS;
  • WRF

[1] In this study, remotely sensed lake surface temperature (LST) and lake ice cover (LIC) were integrated into the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.2 to evaluate the simulation of lake-effect precipitation over the Great Lakes region. The LST was derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), while the LIC was obtained from the National Ice Center (NIC). WRF simulations for the Great Lakes region were performed at 10 km grid spacing for the cold season from November 2003 through February 2008. Initial and lateral boundary conditions were provided by the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). Experiments were carried out to compare winter precipitation simulations with and without the integration of the satellite data. Results show that integration with MODIS LST and NIC LIC significantly improves simulation of lake-effect precipitation over the Great Lakes region by reduced latent heat and sensible heat fluxes. A composite analysis of lake-effect precipitation events further reveals that more accurately depicted low-level stability and vertical moisture transport forced by the observation-based LST and LIC contribute to the improved simulation of lake-effect precipitation.