Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Development and technical paper
30 Mar 2016
Development and technical paper |  | 30 Mar 2016

Validation of the ALARO-0 model within the EURO-CORDEX framework

Olivier Giot, Piet Termonia, Daan Degrauwe, Rozemien De Troch, Steven Caluwaerts, Geert Smet, Julie Berckmans, Alex Deckmyn, Lesley De Cruz, Pieter De Meutter, Annelies Duerinckx, Luc Gerard, Rafiq Hamdi, Joris Van den Bergh, Michiel Van Ginderachter, and Bert Van Schaeybroeck

Abstract. Using the regional climate model ALARO-0, the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and Ghent University have performed two simulations of the past observed climate within the framework of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX). The ERA-Interim reanalysis was used to drive the model for the period 1979–2010 on the EURO-CORDEX domain with two horizontal resolutions, 0.11 and 0.44°. ALARO-0 is characterised by the new microphysics scheme 3MT, which allows for a better representation of convective precipitation. In Kotlarski et al. (2014) several metrics assessing the performance in representing seasonal mean near-surface air temperature and precipitation are defined and the corresponding scores are calculated for an ensemble of models for different regions and seasons for the period 1989–2008. Of special interest within this ensemble is the ARPEGE model by the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM), which shares a large amount of core code with ALARO-0.

Results show that ALARO-0 is capable of representing the European climate in an acceptable way as most of the ALARO-0 scores lie within the existing ensemble. However, for near-surface air temperature, some large biases, which are often also found in the ARPEGE results, persist. For precipitation, on the other hand, the ALARO-0 model produces some of the best scores within the ensemble and no clear resemblance to ARPEGE is found, which is attributed to the inclusion of 3MT.

Additionally, a jackknife procedure is applied to the ALARO-0 results in order to test whether the scores are robust, meaning independent of the period used to calculate them. Periods of 20 years are sampled from the 32-year simulation and used to construct the 95 % confidence interval for each score. For most scores, these intervals are very small compared to the total ensemble spread, implying that model differences in the scores are significant.

Short summary
The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and Ghent University have performed two simulations with different horizontal resolutions of the past observed climate of Europe for the period 1979–2010. Of special interest is the new way of handling convective precipitation in the model that was used. Results show that the model is capable of representing the European climate and comparison with other models reveals that precipitation patterns are well represented.