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Can climate models represent the precipitation associated with extratropical cyclones?

Hawcroft, M. K., Shaffrey, L. C., Hodges, K. I. and Dacre, H. F. (2016) Can climate models represent the precipitation associated with extratropical cyclones? Climate Dynamics, 47 (3-4). pp. 679-695. ISSN 1432-0894

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-015-2863-z

Abstract/Summary

Extratropical cyclones produce the majority of precipitation in many regions of the extratropics. This study evaluates the ability of a climate model, HiGEM, to reproduce the precipitation associated with extratropical cyclones. The model is evaluated using the ERA-Interim reanalysis and GPCP dataset. The analysis employs a cyclone centred compositing technique, evaluates composites across a range of geographical areas and cyclone intensities and also investigates the ability of the model to reproduce the climatological distribution of cyclone associated precipitation across the Northern Hemisphere. Using this phenomena centred approach provides an ability to identify the processes which are responsible for climatological biases in the model. Composite precipitation intensities are found to be comparable when all cyclones across the Northern Hemisphere are included. When the cyclones are filtered by region or intensity, differences are found, in particular, HiGEM produces too much precipitation in its most intense cyclones relative to ERA-Interim and GPCP. Biases in the climatological distribution of cyclone associated precipitation are also found, with biases around the storm track regions associated with both the number of cyclones in HiGEM and also their average precipitation intensity. These results have implications for the reliability of future projections of extratropical precipitation from the model.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:55073
Publisher:Springer

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