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WRF model sensitivity to horizontal, vertical and temporal resolution

Conference: 3rd International Meeting on Meteorology and Climatology of the Mediterranean
Year: 2011
Contribution type: Poster
Poster: IMCM11_Fita_poster.pdf

As computational resources increase their capacity, atmospheric modelers can run their experiments at higher resolutions. It is well accepted the positive role of increasing horizontal and vertical resolutions in numerical climate simulations. Generally speaking, the higher the resolution of the simulation, the better the representation of atmospheric processes. However, it is not clear if a relation between horizontal and vertical resolution should be kept for optimal model performance. In this regard a wide spectrum of combinations of horizontal and vertical resolutions in the simulations can be found in the literature. Also there is only sparse information about sensitivity to the time frequency at which model internally integrates. A set of 1-year long simulations on a Mediterranean domain with different combinations of horizontal (12.5, 25, 50 km), vertical (60, 40, 26) and temporal resolutions have been carried out using the WRF (Weather Research & Forecasting) model as a regional climate downscaling tool. The results have been validated with different observed and re-analyzed fields in order to study the skill of each combination of vertical, horizontal and temporal resolution. The validation has been carried out in different regions defined using Köppen derived climatic zones, standard rectangular regions and a combination of both. Thus, the study attempts to provide an objective way to determine the appropriate resolution of a simulation based on meteorological aspects more than on computer limitations. At the same time, the importance of following an appropriate methodology to define the zones for verification is also shown.

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