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Original Research Papers

An analysis of regional climate model performance over the tropical Americas. Part II: simulating subseasonal variability of precipitation associated with ENSO forcing

Authors:

Etienne Tourigny,

Université du Québec à Montréal, CRCMD Network, Montréal, CA
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Colin G. Jones

Université du Québec à Montréal, CRCMD Network, Montréal, CA; SMHI, Rossby Centre, SE-601 76, Norrköping, SE
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Abstract

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) constitutes a major source of potential predictability in the tropics. The majority of past seasonal prediction studies have concentrated on precipitation anomalies at the seasonal mean timescale. However, fields such as agriculture and water resource management require higher time frequency forecasts of precipitation variability. Regional climate models (RCMs), with their increased resolution, may offer one means of improving general circulation model forecasts of higher time frequency precipitation variability.

Part I of this study evaluated the ability of the Rossby Centre regional atmospheric model (RCA), forced by analysed boundary conditions, to simulate seasonal mean precipitation anomalies over the tropical Americas associated with ENSO variability. In this paper the same integrations are analysed, with the focus now on precipitation anomalies at subseasonal (pentad) timescales.

RCA simulates the climatological annual cycle of pentad-mean precipitation intensity quite accurately. The timing of the rainy season (onset, demise and length) is well simulated, with biases generally of less than 2 weeks. Changes in the timing and duration of the rainy season, associated with ENSO forcing, are also well captured. Finally, pentad-mean rainfall intensity distributions are simulated quite accurately, as are shifts in these distributions associated with ENSO forcing.

How to Cite: Tourigny, E. and Jones, C.G., 2009. An analysis of regional climate model performance over the tropical Americas. Part II: simulating subseasonal variability of precipitation associated with ENSO forcing. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 61(3), pp.343–356. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2008.00387.x
Published on 01 Jan 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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