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Impact of Horizontal Resolution on Precipitation in Complex Orography Simulated by the Regional Climate Model RCA3*
SMHI, Forskningsavdelningen, Klimatforskning - Rossby Centre.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-4226-8713
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2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Monthly Weather Review, ISSN 0027-0644, E-ISSN 1520-0493, Vol. 143, nr 9, s. 3610-3627Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
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Abstract [en]

The hydrostatic regional climate model RCA, version 3 (RCA3), of the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute was used to dynamically downscale ERA-40 and the ECMWF operational analysis over a 22-yr period. Downscaling was performed at four horizontal resolutions-50, 25, 12.5, and 6.25 km-over an identical European domain. The model-simulated precipitation is evaluated against high-resolution gridded observational precipitation datasets over Switzerland and southern Norway, regions that are characterized by complex orography and distinct climate regimes. RCA3 generally overestimates precipitation over high mountains: during winter and summer over Switzerland and during summer over central-southern Norway. In the summer, this is linked with a substantial contribution of convective precipitation to the total precipitation errors, especially at the coarser resolutions (50 and 25 km). A general improvement in spatial correlation coefficients between simulated and observed precipitation is observed when the horizontal resolution is increased from 50 to 6 km. The 95th percentile spatial correlation coefficients during winter are much higher for southern Norway than for Switzerland, indicating that RCA3 is more successful at reproducing a relatively simple west-to-east precipitation gradient over southern Norway than a much more complex and variable precipitation distribution over Switzerland. The 6-km simulation is not always superior to the other simulations, possibly indicating that the model dynamical and physical configuration at this resolution may not have been optimal. However, a general improvement in simulated precipitation with increasing resolution supports further use and application of high spatial resolutions in RCA3.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2015. Vol. 143, nr 9, s. 3610-3627
Nationell ämneskategori
Klimatforskning
Forskningsämne
Klimat
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URN: urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-1957DOI: 10.1175/MWR-D-14-00302.1ISI: 000360313800015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:smhi-1957DiVA, id: diva2:923752
Tillgänglig från: 2016-04-27 Skapad: 2016-03-03 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-11-30Bibliografiskt granskad

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Nikulin, GrigoryJones, Colin

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