Analyzing Drought with a Simplified Climate Model

by Michael L. Anderson, (S.M.ASCE),
M. Levent Kavvas, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


A simplified climate model with combined atmospheric-hydrologic processes has been developed at the University of California Davis for the study of physical processes related to drought. Vertically averaged mean temperature, water vapor content, and potential vorticity are considered the atmospheric state variables, while soil and sea temperature and water storage are considered for describing the behavior of the hydrologic system. Physical processes incorporated into the model include: shortwave radiation, longwave radiation, and sensible and latent heat fluxes. Precipitation and evaporation processes are used for water transport between atmosphere and ground. Atmospheric dynamics are modeled using quasigeostrophic theory. Changes in temperature, water storage, evaporation rate, and precipitation rate over time can be tracked with the model to investigate forcing mechanisms and interactions of physical processes related to drought phenomena.

Subject Headings: Water storage | Water shortage | Physical models | Droughts | Water temperature | Temperature effects | Radiation

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