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Simulation of extreme temperature over Odisha during May 2015

by  K.C.Gouda, S.K.Sahoo, P.Samantray and S.Himesh

An extreme temperature event (heat wave) over the state of Odisha was unique as it lasted for about 2 weeks in the 3rd and 4th weeks of May 2015. There was a similar severe heat wave in western and central Odisha in the month of April 1998. The interesting feature of the recent episodic heat wave is that it prevailed in the late pre-monsoon season with wider spread in the state of Odisha. Around 12–15 cities experienced a daily maximum temperature of over 45 °C during the strong heat wave period, and 25th −27th May was declared as the red box zone. In this study, we first analysed the intense summer temperature of 2015 May using India Meteorological Department observations of daily maximum temperature. The observed heat wave phenomenon was then simulated using the Weather Research and Forecast Model (WRFV3) at 2-km horizontal resolution to assess its ability to forecast such a rare event. The observational analysis clearly indicated that this episodic event was unique both in terms of intensity, geographical spread and duration. An optimized configuration of the WRF model is proposed and implemented for the simulation of the episodic heat wave phenomenon (daily maximum temperature) over the state of Odisha. The time-ensemble simulation of the temperature is shown to be in close agreement with the station-scale observations.


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