Evaluation of spatiotemporal variability of temperature and precipitation over the Karakoram Highway region during the cold season by a Regional Climate Model Evaluation of spatiotemporal variability of temperature and precipitation over the Karakoram Highway region during the cold season by a Regional Climate Model

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Vol17 No.9: 2108-2122

Title】Evaluation of spatiotemporal variability of temperature and precipitation over the Karakoram Highway region during the cold season by a Regional Climate Model

Author】YANG Tao1,2,3,4,5,6, LI Qian1,2,3,7, CHEN Xi1,3,5,7, YIN Gang8, LI Lan-hai1,2,3,7*, Philippe De MAEYER1,4,5,6

Addresses】1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2 Ili Station for Watershed Ecosystem Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xinyuan 835800, China; 3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 4 Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium; 5 Sino-Belgian Joint Laboratory of Geo-information, Urumqi 830011, China; 6 Sino-Belgian Joint Laboratory of Geo-information, Ghent 9000, Belgium; 7 Research Centre for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 8 College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China

Corresponding author】LI Lan-hai

Citation】Yang T, Li Q, Chen X, et al. (2020) Evaluation of spatiotemporal variability of temperature and precipitation over the Karakoram Highway region during the cold season by a Regional Climate Model. Journal of Mountain Science 17(9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5772-5

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5772-5

Abstract】Precipitation and temperature are two important factors associated to snow hazards which block the transport infrastructure and cause loss of life and properties in the cold season. The in-situ observations are limited in the alpine with complex topographic characteristics, while coarse satellite rainfall estimates, reanalysis rain datasets, and gridded in-situ rain gauge datasets obscure the understanding of the precipitation patterns in hazard-prone areas. Considering the Karakoram Highway (KKH) region as a study area, a double nested Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with the high resolution of a 10-km horizontal grid was performed to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of temperature and precipitation covering the Karakoram Highway region during the cold season. The results of WRF were compared with the in-situ observations and Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP) datasets. The results demonstrated that the WRF model well reproduced the observed monthly temperature (R = 0.96, mean bias = -3.92°C) and precipitation (R = 0.57, mean bias = 8.69 mm). The WRF model delineated the essential features of precipitation variability and extremes, although it overestimated the wet day frequency and underestimated the precipitation intensity. Two rain bands were exhibited in a northwest-to-southeast direction over the study area. High wet day frequency was found in January, February, and March in the section between Hunza and Khunjerab. In addition, the areas with extreme values are mainly located in the Dasu-Islamabad section in February, March, and April. The WRF model has the potential to compensatefor the spatial and temporal gaps of the observational networks and to provide more accurate predictions on the meteorological variables for avoiding common cold-weather hazards in the ungauged and high altitude areas at a regional scale.

Keywords】Karakoram Highway; WRF model; Precipitation; Temperature; Snow hazards