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Precipitation in the EURO-CORDEX 0.11° and 0.44° simulations: high resolution, high benefits ?

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Teichmann,  Claas
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Jacob,  Daniela
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Prein, A., Gobiet, A., Truhetz, H., Keuler, K., Goergen, K., Teichmann, C., et al. (2016). Precipitation in the EURO-CORDEX 0.11° and 0.44° simulations: high resolution, high benefits? Climate Dynamics, 46, 383-412. doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2589-y.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-AAB8-7
Abstract
In the framework of the EURO-CORDEX initiative an ensemble of European-wide high-resolution regional climate simulations on a 0.11∘(∼12.5km) grid has been generated. This study investigates whether the fine-gridded regional climate models are found to add value to the simulated mean and extreme daily and sub-daily precipitation compared to their coarser-gridded 0.44∘(∼50km) counterparts. Therefore, pairs of fine- and coarse-gridded simulations of eight reanalysis-driven models are compared to fine-gridded observations in the Alps, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, the Carpathians, and Spain. A clear result is that the 0.11∘ simulations are found to better reproduce mean and extreme precipitation for almost all regions and seasons, even on the scale of the coarser-gridded simulations (50 km). This is primarily caused by the improved representation of orography in the 0.11∘ simulations and therefore largest improvements can be found in regions with substantial orographic features. Improvements in reproducing precipitation in the summer season appear also due to the fact that in the fine-gridded simulations the larger scales of convection are captured by the resolved-scale dynamics. The 0.11∘ simulations reduce biases in large areas of the investigated regions, have an improved representation of spatial precipitation patterns, and precipitation distributions are improved for daily and in particular for 3 hourly precipitation sums in Switzerland. When the evaluation is conducted on the fine (12.5 km) grid, the added value of the 0.11∘ models becomes even more obvious. © 2015, The Author(s).