Precipitation frequency in Med-CORDEX and EURO-CORDEX ensembles from 0.44° to convection-permitting resolution: impact of model resolution and convection representation

Ha, Minh T. ; Bastin, Sophie ; Drobinski, Philippe ; Fita, L. ; Polcher, J. ; Bock, O. ; Chiriaco, M. ; Belusic, D. ; Caillaud, Cécile ; Dobler, A. ; Fernandez, J. ; Goergen, K. ; Hodnebrog, Ø. ; Kartsios, S. ; Katragkou, E. ; Lavin-Gullon, A. ; Lorenz, T. ; Milovac, J. ; Panitz, H.-J. ; Sobolowski, S. ; Truhetz, H. ; Warrach-Sagi, K. ; Wulfmeyer, V.

Année de publication
<p align=justify>Recent studies using convection-permitting (CP) climate simulations have demonstrated a step-change in the representation of heavy rainfall and rainfall characteristics (frequency-intensity) compared to coarser resolution Global and Regional climate models. The goal of this study is to better understand what explains the weaker frequency of precipitation in the CP ensemble by assessing the triggering process of precipitation in the different ensembles of regional climate simulations available over Europe. We focus on the statistical relationship between tropospheric temperature, humidity and precipitation to understand how the frequency of precipitation over Europe and the Mediterranean is impacted by model resolution and the representation of convection (parameterized vs. explicit). We employ a multi-model data-set with three different resolutions (0.44°, 0.11° and 0.0275°) produced in the context of the MED-CORDEX, EURO-CORDEX and the CORDEX Flagship Pilot Study "Convective Phenomena over Europe and the Mediterranean" (FPSCONV). The multi-variate approach is applied to all model ensembles, and to several surface stations where the integrated water vapor (IWV) is derived from Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements. The results show that all model ensembles capture the temperature dependence of the critical value of IWV (IWVcv), above which an increase in precipitation frequency occurs, but the differences between the models in terms of the value of IWVcv, and the probability of its being exceeded, can be large at higher temperatures. The lower frequency of precipitation in convection-permitting simulations is not only explained by higher temperatures but also by a higher IWVcv necessary to trigger precipitation at similar temperatures, and a lower probability to exceed this critical value. The spread between models in simulating IWVcv and the probability of exceeding IWVcv is reduced over land in the ensemble of models with explicit convection, especially at high temperatures, when the convective fraction of total precipitation becomes more important and the influence of the representation of entrainment in models thus becomes more important. Over lowlands, both model resolution and convection representation affect precipitation triggering while over mountainous areas, resolution has the highest impact due to orography-induced triggering processes. Over the sea, since lifting is produced by large-scale convergence, the probability to exceed IWVcv does not depend on temperature, and the model resolution does not have a clear impact on the results.</p>
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