A case study of subdaily simulated and observed continental convective precipitation: CMIP5 and multiscale global climate models comparison

Authors

  • D. Rosa,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    • Corresponding author: D. Rosa, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, 413 McCone Hall #4767, Berkeley, CA 94720-4767, USA. (drosawork@drosa.name)

    Search for more papers by this author
  • W. D. Collins

    1. Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

[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.

Ancillary