Impacts of the desiccated lake system on precipitation in the basin of Mexico City

Erika López-Espinoza*, Angel Ruiz-Angulo, Jorge Zavala-Hidalgo, Rosario Romero-Centeno, Josefina Escamilla-Salazar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Mexico City constitutes one of the largest concentrations of population on the planet and is settled in a valley that, before the 16th century, had a lake system. The lakes were desiccated artificially, and currently, only small lakes remain. The impact of the lake system desiccation on precipitation was studied by performing numerical experiments: with the ancient lake system and without it. The experiments were carried out with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with a lake model for two months, using identical initial and boundary conditions, where only the system and lake physics were changed. The mean daily accumulated precipitation reduced when the system was removed. Additionally, the hourly distribution of rainfall changed from a relatively small diurnal variability when there was a lake system to a larger variability with a peak in the afternoon when the system was removed. Extreme precipitation events became more intense in the simulations with lakes. When the lakes were removed, the diurnal temperature range increased, and the boundary layer height became more variable, with a higher daily maximum. The results presented here show that the WRF-Lake model leads to opposite results compared to those with a non-coupled lake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number628
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico (grant numbers: IA100915, IA101614, and IA101813).

Funding Information:
We acknowledge to the Universidad Nacional Aut?noma de Mexico for the use of the supercomputer Miztli and the support to DGTIC. We also like to thank Octavio G?mez Ramos for his technical assistance and Oscar Jurado de Larios for helpful comments. This research was funded by Universidad Nacional Aut?noma de M?xico, Direcci?n General de Asuntos del Personal Acad?mico (grant numbers: IA100915, IA101614, and IA101813)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.

Other keywords

  • Lake desiccation
  • Lake-atmosphere interaction
  • WRF-Lake model


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