EMS Annual Meeting Abstracts
Vol. 20, EMS2023-610, 2023, updated on 06 Jul 2023
EMS Annual Meeting 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

How are observed point-rainfall climatologies represented by global models with different spatial resolutions? A comparative study.

Fatima Pillosu1, Tim Hewson1, Christel Prudhomme1, and Hannah Cloke2
Fatima Pillosu et al.
  • 1ECMWF, Forecast department - Evaluation section, Reading, United Kingdom of Great Britain (fatima.pillosu@ecmwf.int)
  • 2Department of Geography & Environmental Science and Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK

To establish climatologies that facilitate the contextualization of extreme, high-impact weather events in relation to historical occurrences or to comprehend the influence of climate change on their intensity and frequency, an extensive collection of observations extending as far back as possible is essential. Yet, these observations exhibit inaccuracies and uneven distributions in space and time. These attributes may lead to a distorted representation of past weather and climate, particularly for variables like rainfall, which can exhibit substantial variations in space and time. 

Reanalyses and reforecasts fill the gaps in the observational records. Existing literature has demonstrated that both reanalysis and reforecast datasets offer a more accurate representation of past weather and climate, owing to their global completeness and temporal consistency. Nonetheless, reanalyses and reforecasts may not adequately depict localized and/or rare events as effectively as observational climatologies might do (provided sufficient observations are available) due to the coarse spatial resolutions of both modelled datasets. This misrepresentation is particularly pertinent for discontinuous variables, such as precipitation. 

In this presentation, we will examine the representation of point-rainfall climatologies by four distinct global model datasets: ERA5_EDA (reanalysis, 62km), ERA5 (reanalysis, 31km), ECMWF reforecasts (reforecasts, 18 km), and ERA5_ePoint (reanalysis, point-scale on a 31km grid), and compare with observed point climatologies from raingauge sites. Furthermore, we will discuss the implications of this study on future calculations of reference climatologies for localized extreme precipitation events.

How to cite: Pillosu, F., Hewson, T., Prudhomme, C., and Cloke, H.: How are observed point-rainfall climatologies represented by global models with different spatial resolutions? A comparative study., EMS Annual Meeting 2023, Bratislava, Slovakia, 4–8 Sep 2023, EMS2023-610, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2023-610, 2023.