Understanding the features of weather system around and over the Arabian Gulf is a prerequisite for setting up of a numerical weather forecasting system. The reanalysis, ERA-Interim data with a spatial resolution of ∼80 km has been utilized for analyzing the wind climatology for a period of 35 year. It is found that in the Arabian Gulf, throughout the year, the predominant wind is from north-west and the average wind speed is high in the summer between June and August. The high wind speed systems in summer are known as summer Shamals and have a typical duration of one week. Often, the high speed and long duration of the Summer Shamals makes it a good carrier of sand/dust. The winter season is dominated by south-east passage of frontal systems. The presence of land-sea contrast can cause mesoscale wind systems such as land-sea breeze. Qatar being a narrow peninsular region with width less than 100 km, the setting up of these land-sea breeze systems can be from either of the sides. This can lead to the interaction of two sea breezes from opposite sides, which may lead to the development of a convergence zone. This complex systems can affect the local weather and air-quality of coastal areas. These mesoscale phenomena and complexities are not well represented through a global model. Though the low resolution (80 km) data (ERA-interim) shows the presence of Shamal winds, the data misses the detail structure and their spatial variability. This necessitates for setting up of a high resolution mesoscale simulation approach.

A non-hydrostatic mesoscale model, Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) developed by NCAR (Skamarok et al 2008) is used here for simulating and forecasting the wind systems associated with the Arabian Gulf. The model is run on an operational basis to forecast the wind fields, for a 48 hr. The modeling suite consists of a preprocessor, WPS, the model, WRF and a post processor, ARWpsot. The total suite has been compiled and installed successfully using FORTRAN and C compilers. A two way nested WRF domains with a grid size ratio of 1:3 is configured. The resolutions for the outer domain and inner domain are set to 9 km, and 3 km respectively. Various physical parametrization schemes are available within WRF modelling system. The physical parameterization schemes used in the current configuration includes MYJ boundary layer parametrization, Janjic Eta Monin–Obukhov surface layer scheme, Dudhia shortwave radiation, Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTM) long wave radiation, WRF Single-Moment 6-Class (WSM6) microphysics, and the NOAH land surface scheme. Cumulus scheme, Grell is used only for the outer domain. Both of the model domains have a total of 39 vertical levels, with the topmost level at 50 hPa and lowermost level at approximately 30 m above the ground level. The initial and boundary conditions are obtained from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP) Global forecast System (GFS) available at resolution 0.50 (∼50 km), and the boundary conditions are updated at 6 hr interval. The entire process is automatized and run on RAAD Linux HPC cluster computing system.

A two day simulation of WRF is analyzed and the sea breeze system of Qatar peninsula is examined and compared with the automatic weather station (AWS) data of Qatar Meteorological Department. The time of onset and duration of sea breeze are identified. The simulation of WRF clearly shows the development of a thermal internal boundary layer over the coastal city Doha. The existence of a convergence zone with high vertical updraft was also found. This may be due to the interaction of sea breezes coming from opposite sides of Qatar peninsula. Understanding the system of sea breeze would benefit the overall understanding pollutant transport and the dispersion mechanisms.


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