Mary Jane Bopape
The improvement of weather simulations over southern Africa through the modification of boundary layer and microphysics schemes in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models.
Weather and climate extremes can have a big impact on the society and the economy especially in the African continent where weather and climate sensitive sectors make a large contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Early warning systems can help save both life and property, and these rely on the use of numerical models and earth observations. Running numerical models with high resolution and over large domains, require the use of high-performance computing (HPC) facilities and these have largely been unavailable in the African continent.
In the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, HPC systems have been deployed recently through the implementation of the SADC Cyberinfrastructure (CI) framework and national initiatives, which means, models can now be run with high resolution in research or operational mode. These models are however characterised by errors especially when simulating thunderstorms that can be associated with extremes such as strong winds, hail, tornadoes and heavy rainfall. This research focuses on the improvement of weather simulations over southern Africa through the modification of boundary layer and microphysics schemes in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models.
The model simulations will be used to develop products for the agriculture, water, disaster risk reduction, energy and health sectors. A large component of the project is also to build numerical modelling human capacity in SADC through training workshops and engagements with international experts.