Spatial and temporal characteristics of summer precipitation over Central Europe in a suite of high-resolution climate models
2016 (English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442, Vol. 29, no 10, 3501-3518 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
High-impact, localized intense rainfall episodes represent a major socio-economic problem for societies worldwide, and at the same time these events are notoriously difficult to simulate properly in climate models. Here, the authors investigate how horizontal resolution and model formulation influence this issue by applying the HARMONIE regional climate model (HCLIM) with three different setups; two using convection parameterization at 15 and 6.25 km horizontal resolution (the latter within the “grey-zone” scale), with lateral boundary conditions provided by ERA-Interim reanalysis and integrated over a pan-European domain, and one with explicit convection at 2 km resolution (HCLIM2) over the Alpine region driven by the 15 km model. Seven summer seasons were sampled and validated against two high-resolution observational data sets. All HCLIM versions underestimate the number of dry days and hours by 20-40%, and overestimate precipitation over the Alpine ridge. Also, only modest added value were found of “grey-zone” resolution. However, the single most important outcome is the substantial added value in HCLIM2 compared to the coarser model versions at sub-daily time scales. It better captures the local-to-regional spatial patterns of precipitation reflecting a more realistic representation of the local and meso-scale dynamics. Further, the duration and spatial frequency of precipitation events, as well as extremes, are closer to observations. These characteristics are key ingredients in heavy rainfall events and associated flash floods, and the outstanding results using HCLIM in convection-permitting setting are convincing and encourage further use of the model to study changes in such events in changing climates.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 29, no 10, 3501-3518 p.
Regional climate modeling, high-resolution, precipitation, extremes, statistical analysis
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128380DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0463.1ISI: 000375950400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128380DiVA: diva2:914602
FunderMistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research