Implementation of a two-way coupled atmospheric-hydrological system for environmental modeling at regional scale

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This work describes the two-way coupling performed between the regional atmospheric model Brazilian Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (BRAMS) and the hydrological model MGB-IPH. As a first step of the atmosphere-hydrology coupling, only the water balance variables were coupled. Differences in temporal and spatial scales between MGH-IPH and BRAMS were analyzed. By default, MGB-IPH has a daily time step whereas BRAMS uses smaller time steps. Thus, accumulated rainfall values from BRAMS were used to feed MGB-IPH. On the other hand, daily values of evapotranspiration from MGB-IPH were provided to BRAMS. This procedure was assumed as a daily loop in the simulations. Differences in spatial scales were avoided by using the same grid size (10 × 10 km) in both models, in such a way that neither upscaling nor downscaling was necessary. The coupled system was tested for the Rio Grande basin situated in south-eastern Brazil by comparing results from BRAMS with results from the coupled system for the same period, with the same input data. Outputs from the runs were compared to water vapor satellite images. The results from the coupled model tests indicated that its predictions of rainfall distribution were more accurate than BRAMS.

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