Evaluation of a dynamic downscaling of precipitation over the Norwegian mainland


e-mail: elisabeth.orskaug@nr.no


In order to assess the potential of regional climate models to be used to project future weather events, a first step is to study the regional model forced by actual weather, or more precisely by reanalysis of weather data. In this paper we investigate how well the Norwegian regional model HIRHAM, forced by ERA-40 reanalysis data, compares to observed precipitation data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute over Norwegian mainland. This paper aims to show how standard methods of statistical testing may be used to assess dynamic downscaling. Methods considered are the Kolmogorov–Smirnov two-sample test, a Fisher exact test for equality of quantiles, an Extreme Value Theory test, where equality of the 1-yr return levels are tested, and equality of wet-day frequency. All tests are performed seasonally. The regional model is skillful in describing the lower quartile of the precipitation distribution, but underestimates higher levels of precipitation. Our results indicate that the regional model has too many but too small rain events for all seasons.