• precipitation;
  • diurnal cycle;
  • global climate model;
  • convection;
  • cloud resolving modeling;
  • CMIP5

[1] We analyze subdaily continental convective precipitation data relative to the Southeastern U.S. from gridded rain gauge measurements, conventional global climate models (GCMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) archive, and a multiscale GCM. GCMs react too quickly to local convective instability and, therefore, overestimate the incidence of middle rainfall events and underestimate the incidence of no, little, and heavy rainfall events. Moreover, GCMs overestimate the persistence of heavy precipitation and underestimate the persistence of no and light precipitation. In general, GCMs with suppression mechanisms in the treatments of convective precipitation compare best with rain gauge derived data and should be trusted more than the others when assessing the risk from extreme precipitation events. The multiscale GCM has the best estimate of the diurnal cycle and a good estimate of heavy rainfall persistence.