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Comparison of Measured and MM5 Modeled Meteorology Data for Simulating Flow in a Mountain Watershed

Authors

  • Joel W. Herr,

    1. Respectively, President, Systech Water Resources Inc., 1200 Mount Diablo Blvd., Suite 102, Walnut Creek, California 94596; Senior Manager, ENVIRON, Novato, California; and Senior Technical Manager, Electric Power Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
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  • Krish Vijayaraghavan,

    1. Respectively, President, Systech Water Resources Inc., 1200 Mount Diablo Blvd., Suite 102, Walnut Creek, California 94596; Senior Manager, ENVIRON, Novato, California; and Senior Technical Manager, Electric Power Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
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  • Eladio Knipping

    1. Respectively, President, Systech Water Resources Inc., 1200 Mount Diablo Blvd., Suite 102, Walnut Creek, California 94596; Senior Manager, ENVIRON, Novato, California; and Senior Technical Manager, Electric Power Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
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  • Paper No. JAWRA-09-0186-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Herr: joel@systechwater.com).

Abstract

Herr, Joel W., Krish Vijayaraghavan, and Eladio Knipping, 2010. Comparison of Measured and MM5 Modeled Meteorology Data for Simulating Flow in a Mountain Watershed. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 46(6):1255–1263. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00489.x

Abstract:  Accurate simulation of time-varying flow in a river system depends on the quality of meteorology inputs. The density of meteorology measurement stations can be insufficient to capture spatial heterogeneity of precipitation, especially in mountainous areas. The Watershed Analysis Risk Management Framework (WARMF) model was applied to the Catawba River watershed of North and South Carolina to simulate flow and water quality in rivers and a series of 11 reservoirs. WARMF was linked with the AMSTERDAM air model to analyze the water quality benefit from reduced atmospheric emissions. The linkage requires accurate simulation of meteorology for all seasons and for all types of precipitation events. WARMF was driven by the mesoscale meteorology model MM5 processed by the Meteorology Chemistry Interface Processor, which provides greater spatial density but less accuracy than meteorology stations. WARMF was also run with measured data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) to compare the performance of the watershed model using measured data vs. modeled meteorology as input. A one year simulation using MM5 modeled meteorology performed better overall than the simulation using NCDC data for the volumetric water balance measure used for calibration, but MM5 represented precipitation from a dissipated hurricane poorly, which propagated into errors of simulated flow.

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