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Pan-European climate at convection-permitting scale: a model intercomparison study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Steven ChanORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Springer Verlag, 2020.

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© 2018 © Crown 2018. We investigate the effect of using convection-permitting models (CPMs) spanning a pan-European domain on the representation of precipitation distribution at a climatic scale. In particular we compare two 2.2 km models with two 12 km models run by ETH Zürich (ETH-12 km and ETH-2.2 km) and the Met-Office (UKMO-12 km and UKMO-2.2 km). The two CPMs yield qualitatively similar differences to the precipitation climatology compared to the 12 km models, despite using different dynamical cores and different parameterization packages. A quantitative analysis confirms that the CPMs give the largest differences compared to 12 km models in the hourly precipitation distribution in regions and seasons where convection is a key process: in summer across the whole of Europe and in autumn over the Mediterranean Sea and coasts. Mean precipitation is increased over high orography, with an increased amplitude of the diurnal cycle. We highlight that both CPMs show an increased number of moderate to intense short-lasting events and a decreased number of longer-lasting low-intensity events everywhere, correcting (and often over-correcting) biases in the 12 km models. The overall hourly distribution and the intensity of the most intense events is improved in Switzerland and to a lesser extent in the UK but deteriorates in Germany. The timing of the peak in the diurnal cycle of precipitation is improved. At the daily time-scale, differences in the precipitation distribution are less clear but the greater Alpine region stands out with the largest differences. Also, Mediterranean autumnal intense events are better represented at the daily time-scale in both 2.2 km models, due to improved representation of mesoscale processes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Berthou S, Kendon EJ, Chan SC, Ban N, Leutwyler D, Schar C, Fosser G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Climate Dynamics

Year: 2020

Volume: 55

Pages: 35-59

Print publication date: 01/07/2020

Online publication date: 15/03/2018

Acceptance date: 28/01/2018

Date deposited: 10/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0930-7575

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0894

Publisher: Springer Verlag


DOI: 10.1007/s00382-018-4114-6


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