Convective and Stratiform Precipitation Characteristics in an Ensemble of Regional Climate Model Simulations

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Thursday, 8 January 2015
Jan Kysely, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Prague, Czech Republic; and Z. Rulfova, A. Farda, and M. Hanel

We apply a recently proposed algorithm for disaggregating station precipitation data into predominantly convective and stratiform, and evaluate biases in characteristics of convective (subgrid) and stratiform (large-scale) precipitation in an ensemble of 11 RCM simulations for recent climate in Central Europe. All RCMs have a resolution of 25 km and are driven by the ERA-40 reanalysis. We focus on mean annual cycle, proportion of convective precipitation, dependence on altitude, and extremes. The results show that characteristics of total precipitation are often better simulated than are those of convective and stratiform precipitation evaluated separately. While annual cycles of convective and stratiform precipitation are reproduced reasonably well in most RCMs, some of them consistently and substantially overestimate or underestimate the proportion of convective precipitation throughout the year. Intensity of convective precipitation is underestimated in all RCMs. Dependence on altitude is also simulated better for stratiform and total precipitation than for convective precipitation, for which several RCMs produce unrealistic slopes. Extremes are underestimated for convective precipitation while they tend to be slightly overestimated for stratiform precipitation, which results in a relatively good reproduction of extremes in total precipitation amounts. In many examined characteristics, CLM stands out as the best RCM. The results suggest that the examined ensemble of RCMs suffers from substantial deficiencies in reproducing precipitation processes and support previous findings that climate models' errors in precipitation characteristics are mainly related to deficiencies in the representation of convection.