Validation of the present day annual cycle in heavy precipitation over the British Islands simulated by 14 RCMs

Schindler, A., Maraun, Douglas and Luterbacher, J. (2012) Validation of the present day annual cycle in heavy precipitation over the British Islands simulated by 14 RCMs Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 117 (D18). D18107. DOI 10.1029/2012JD017828.

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The representation of the annual cycle of heavy daily precipitation events across the United Kingdom within 14 regional climate models (RCMs) and the European observation data set (E-OBS) over the 1961-2000 period is investigated. We model extreme precipitation as an inhomogeneous Poisson process with a non-stationary threshold and use a sinusoidal model for the location and scale parameter of the corresponding generalized extreme value distribution and a constant shape parameter. First we fit the statistical model to the UK Met Office 5 km gridded precipitation data set (UKMO). Second the statistical model is fitted to 14 reanalysis driven 25 km resolution RCMs from the ENSEMBLES project and to E-OBS. The resulting characteristics from the RCMs and from E-OBS are compared with those from UKMO. We study the peak time of the annual cycle of the monthly return levels, the relative amplitude of their annual cycle and the relative bias of their absolute values. We show that the performance of the RCMs depends strongly on the region. The RCMs show deficits in modeling the characteristics of the annual cycle, especially in modeling its relative amplitude and mainly in Eastern England. However the peak time of the annual cycle is adequately simulated by most RCMs. E-OBS exhibits considerable biases in the absolute values of all monthly return levels, but the relative amplitude and the phase of the annual cycle of heavy precipitation are well represented. Our results imply that studies which rely on the explicit annual cycle of simulated heavy precipitation should be carefully considered.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000309139200007
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2012JD017828
ISSN: 2169-8996
Projects: ACQWA
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 15:04
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2018 14:00

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