Modeling flash flood events in arid environments is a difficult but important task that has impacts on both water resource related issues and also emergency management and response. The challenge is often related to adequately describing the precursor intense rainfall events that cause these flood responses, as they are generally poorly simulated and forecast. Jeddah, the second largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has suffered from a number of flash floods over the last decade, following short-intense rainfall events. The research presented here focuses on examining four historic Jeddah flash floods (Nov. 25-26 2009, Dec. 29-30 2010, Jan. 14-15 2011 and Jan. 25-26 2011) and investigates the feasibility of using numerical weather prediction models to achieve a more realistic simulation of these flood-producing rainfall events. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model (version 3.5) is used to simulate precipitation and meteorological conditions via a high-resolution inner domain (1-km) around Jeddah. A range of different convective closure and microphysics parameterization, together with high-resolution (4-km) sea surface temperature data are employed. Through examining comparisons between the WRF model output and in-situ, radar and satellite data, the characteristics and mechanism producing the extreme rainfall events are discussed and the capacity of the WRF model to accurately forecast these rainstorms is evaluated.
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