Comparison of Moisture Sources and Sinks Estimated with Different Versions of FLEXPART and FLEXPART-WRF Models Forced with ECMWF Reanalysis Data

Published in Journal of Hidrometeorology, 2022

Recommended citation: Fernández-Alvarez, J.C.; Vázquez, M.; Pérez-Alarcón, A.; Nieto, R.; Gimeno, L. (2022). Comparison of Moisture Sources and Sinks Estimated with Different Versions of FLEXPART and FLEXPART-WRF Models Forced with ECMWF Reanalysis Data. Journal of Hidrometeorology, https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-22-0018.1

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Abstract

Moisture transport and changes in the source-sink relationship play a vital role in the atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle. Lagrangian approaches have emerged as the dominant tool to account for estimations of moisture sources and sinks; those that use the FLEXPART model fed by ERA-Interim reanalysis are most commonly used. With the release of retesting ERA5 higher spatial resolution, it is crucial to compare the representation of moisture sources and sinks using the FLEXPART Lagrangian model with different resolutions in the input data, as well as its version for WRF-ARW input data, the FLEXPART-WRF. In this study, we compare this model for 2014 and moisture sources for the Iberian Peninsula and moisture sinks of North Atlantic and Mediterranean. For comparison criteria, we considered FLEXPARTv9.0 outputs forced by ERA-Interim reanalysis as “control values”. It is concluded that FLEXPARTv10.3 forced with ERA5 data at various horizontal resolutions (0.5° and 1°) represents moisture source and sink zones as represented forced by ERA-Interim (1°). In addition, the version fed with the dynamic downscaling WRF-ARW outputs (∼ 20 km), previously forced with ERA5, also represents these patterns accurately, allowing this tool to be used in future investigations at higher resolutions and for regional domains.