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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-104
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-104
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 08 May 2020

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 08 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Effects of horizontal resolution and air-sea coupling on simulated moisture sources for regional East Asian precipitation

Liang Guo1, Ruud J. van der Ent2, Nicholas P. Klingaman1, Marie-Estelle Demory3, Pier Luigi Vidale1, Andrew G. Turner1,4, Claudia C. Stephan5, and Amulya Chevuturi1 Liang Guo et al.
  • 1National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK
  • 2Department of Water Management, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 3Department of Environmental Systems Science, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 5Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. Precipitation over East Asia (EA) simulated in six experiments using the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) is compared with observations and ERA-Interim reanalysis. These simulations are performed at resolutions of 200–40 km and with both atmosphere-only and air-sea coupled configurations. EA precipitation in MetUM is systematically overestimated, especially over southeastern EA and the Tibetan Plateau. Moisture sources for simulated and observed regional EA precipitation are traced using the Water Accounting Model-2layers (WAM-2layers) – a moisture tracking model that traces moisture sources using a combination of evaporation, atmospheric moisture and circulation. Biases in moisture sources are linked to biases in precipitation. For southeastern EA, positive precipitation biases are linked to errors in mid-latitude sources rather than tropical ocean sources. Increasing resolution reduces precipitation biases over the Tibetan Plateau. From the perspective of moisture source, this reduction comes from reduced remote moisture source that is blocked by the better representations of topography at higher resolution. Including coupling does not necessarily improve EA precipitation, however, coupling alters moisture sources. Because the effect of coupling on moisture source varies on location and sign, the collective impact on EA precipitation may not be noticeable. By using WAM-2layers, these changes in moisture sources can be attributed to changes in SST, circulation and associated evaporation. WAM-2layers can be a useful tool to identify model biases that cause biases in regional precipitation.

Liang Guo et al.

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Liang Guo et al.

Liang Guo et al.

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Latest update: 28 Sep 2020
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Short summary
Precipitation over East Asia simulated in Met Office Unified Model is compared with observations. Moisture sources of EA precipitation are traced using a moisture tracking model. Biases in moisture sources are linked to biases in precipitation. By using the tracking model, changes in moisture sources can be attributed to changes in SST, circulation and associated evaporation. This proves that the method used in this study is useful to identify biases that cause biases in regional precipitation.
Precipitation over East Asia simulated in Met Office Unified Model is compared with...
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