Evaluation of the Surface Climatology over the Conterminous United States in the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program Hindcast Experiment Using a Regional Climate Model Evaluation System

Jinwon Kim, Duane E. Waliser, Chris A. Mattmann, Linda O. Mearns, Cameron E. Goodale, Andrew F. Hart, Dan J. Crichton, Seth McGinnis, Huikyo Lee, Paul C. Loikith, Maziyar Boustani
2013 Journal of Climate  
Surface air temperature, precipitation, and insolation over the conterminous United States region from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) regional climate model (RCM) hindcast study are evaluated using the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Regional Climate Model Evaluation System (RCMES). All RCMs reasonably simulate the observed climatology of these variables. RCM skill varies more widely for the magnitude of spatial variability than the pattern. The
more » ... ttern. The multimodel ensemble is among the best performers for all these variables. Systematic biases occur across these RCMs for the annual means, with warm biases over the Great Plains (GP) and cold biases in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico (GM) coastal regions. Wet biases in the Pacific Northwest and dry biases in the GM/southern Great Plains also occur in most RCMs. All RCMs suffer problems in simulating summer rainfall in the Arizona-New Mexico region. RCMs generally overestimate surface insolation, especially in the eastern United States. Negative correlation between the biases in insolation and precipitation suggest that these two fields are related, likely via clouds. Systematic variations in biases for regions, seasons, variables, and metrics suggest that the bias correction in applying climate model data to assess the climate impact on various sectors must be performed accordingly. Precipitation evaluation with multiple observations reveals that observational data can be an important source of uncertainties in model evaluation; thus, cross examination of observational data is important for model evaluation.
doi:10.1175/jcli-d-12-00452.1 fatcat:2smkezmc5jhqdjiw7tzvfr2izu