Qian Liu, Xiaofeng Zhao, Jing Zou, Yunzhou Li, Zhijin Qiu, Tong Hu, Bo Wang, Zhiqian Li

Development of a Numerical Prediction Model for Marine Lower Atmospheric Ducts and Its Evaluation across the South China Sea

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

The Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport (COAWST) model serves as the foundation for creating a forecast model to detect lower atmospheric ducts in this study. A set of prediction tests with different forecasting times focusing on the South China Sea domain was conducted to evaluate the short-term forecasting effectiveness of lower atmospheric ducts. The assessment of sounding observation data revealed that the prediction model performed well in predicting the characteristics of all types of ducts. The mean values of the forecasting errors were slightly lower than the reanalysis data but had lower levels of correlation coefficients. At an altitude of about 2000 m, the forecasted error of modified atmospheric refractivity reached peak values and then decreased gradually with increasing altitude. The accuracy of forecasted surface ducts was higher than that of elevated ducts. Noticeable land–sea differences were identified for the spatial distributions of duct characteristics, and the occurrence rates of both the surface and elevated ducts were high at sea. As for the differences among the forecasts of 24, 48, and 72 h ahead, the differences primarily occurred at altitude levels below 20 m and 500 m~1500 m, which are consistent with the differences in the duct height.

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