A unique program is developed for improving heavy rainfall forecasts over South China during the pre-summer rainy season through field campaigns and research on physical mechanisms and convection-permitting modeling.
During the pre-summer rainy season (April-June), South China often experiences frequent occurrences of extreme rainfall, leading to severe flooding and inundations. To expedite the efforts in improving the quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) of the pre-summer rainy season rainfall, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) initiated a nationally coordinated research project, namely, the Southern China Monsoon Rainfall Experiment (SCMREX) that was endorsed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as a Research and Development Project (RDP) of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP). The SCMREX RDP (2013-2018) consists of four major components: field campaign, database management, studies on physical mechanisms of heavy rainfall events, and convection-permitting numerical experiments including impact of data assimilation, evaluation/improvement of model physics, and ensemble prediction. The pilot field campaigns were carried out during early May to mid-June of 2013-15. This paper describes the scientific objectives, pilot field campaigns, and data sharing of SCMREX, and also presents examples of preliminary research results and explains future research opportunities.