4A.3 Projected Changes over Western Canada Using Convection-Permitting Regional Climate Model

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 9:00 AM
Salon F (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Yanping Li, Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada; and S. Kurkute and L. Chen

Results from the General Circulation Models (GCMs) suggest more frequent and more severe extreme rain events in a climate warmer than the present. However, current GCMs cannot accurately simulate extreme rainfall events of short duration due to their coarse model resolutions and parameterizations. This limitation makes it difficult to provide the detailed quantitative information for the development of regional adaptation and mitigation strategies. Dynamical downscaling using nested Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are able to capture key regional and local climate processes with an affordable computational cost. Recent studies have demonstrated that the downscaling of GCM results with weather-permitting mesoscale models, such as the pseudo-global warming (PGW) technique, could be a viable and economical approach of obtaining valuable climate change information on regional scales. We have conducted a regional climate 4-km Weather Research and Forecast Model (WRF) simulation with one domain covering the whole western Canada, for a historic run (2000-2015) and a 15-year future run to 2100 and beyond with the PGW forcing. The 4-km resolution allows direct use of microphysics and resolves the convection explicitly, thus providing very convincing spatial detail. With this high-resolution simulation, we are able to study the convective mechanisms, specifically the control of convections over the Prairies, the projected changes of rainfall regimes, and the shift of the convective mechanisms in a warming climate, which has never been examined before numerically at such large scale with such high resolution.
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