Downscaling ECMWF seasonal precipitation forecasts in Europe using the RCA model




The operational performance and usefulness of regional climate models at seasonal time scales are assessed by downscaling an ensemble of global seasonal forecasts. The Rossby Centre RCA regional model was applied to downscale a five-member ensemble from the ECMWF System3 global model in the European Atlantic domain for the period 1981–2001. One month lead time global and regional precipitation predictions were compared over Europe—and particularly over Spain—focusing the study in SON (autumn) dry events. A robust tercile-based probabilistic validation approach was applied to compare the forecasts from global and regional models, obtaining significant skill in both cases, but over a wider area for the later. Finally, we also analyse the performance of a mixed ensemble combining both forecasts.