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Evaluation of the mean and extreme precipitation regimes from the ENSEMBLES RCM multi-model simulations over Spain

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research
Year: 2010   Volume: 115
Initial page: 21117  
Status: Published
In this status since: 30 Jul 2010
PDF file: 2010_Herrera_JGR.pdf
DOI: 10.1029/2010JD013936

A state-of-the-art ensemble of Regional Climate Model (RCM) simulations provided by the EU-funded project ENSEMBLES is used to test the ability of RCMs to reproduce the mean and extreme precipitation regimes over Spain. To this aim, ERA40-driven simulations at 25km resolution are compared with the 20km daily precipitation grid Spain02, considering the period 1960-2000. This gridded dataset has been interpolated from thousands of quality controlled stations capturing the spatial variability of precipitation over this RCM benchmark-like area with complex-orography and influence of both Atlantic and Mediterranean climates.

The results show a good representation of the mean regimes and the annual cycle, but an overestimation of rainfall frequency leading to a deficient estimation of wet/dry spells. The amount of rainfall coming from extreme events is also deficient in the RCMs. The use of the multi-model ensemble improves the results of the individual models; moreover, discarding the worst performing models for the particular area and variable leads to improved results and reduced spread.

See also Spain02 dataset