Submitted as: model experiment description paper 15 Dec 2020

Submitted as: model experiment description paper | 15 Dec 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

BARRA v1.0: Kilometre-scale downscaling of an Australian regional atmospheric reanalysis over four midlatitude domains

Chun-Hsu Su1, Nathan Eizenberg2, Dörte Jakob1, Paul Fox-Hughes3, Peter Steinle1, Christopher J. White4,5, and Charmaine Franklin1 Chun-Hsu Su et al.
  • 1Bureau of Meteorology, Docklands, 5 Victoria 3008, Australia
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
  • 3Bureau of Meteorology, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
  • 4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • 5School of Engineering, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

Abstract. The development of convection-permitting models (CPMs) in numerical weather prediction has facilitated the creation of km-scale (1–4 km) regional reanalysis and climate projections. The Bureau of Meteorology Atmospheric high-resolution Regional Reanalysis for Australia (BARRA) also aims to realise the benefits of these high-resolution models over Australian sub-regions for applications such as fire danger research, by nesting them in BARRA's 12 km regional reanalysis (BARRA-R). Four mid-latitude sub-regions are centred on Perth in Western Australia, Adelaide in South Australia, Sydney in New South Wales (NSW), and Tasmania. The resulting 29-year 1.5 km downscaled reanalyses (BARRA-C) are assessed for their added skill over BARRA-R and global reanalyses for near-surface parameters (temperature, wind and precipitation) at observation locations and against independent 5 km gridded analyses. BARRA-C demonstrates better agreement with point observations for temperature and wind, particularly in topographically complex regions and coastal regions. BARRA-C also improves upon BARRA-R in terms of intensity and timing of precipitation during the thunderstorm seasons in NSW, and spatial patterns of sub-daily rain fields during storm events. However, as a hindcast-only system, BARRA-C largely inherits the domain-averaged biases and temporal variations of biases from BARRA-R. Further, BARRA-C reflects known issues of CPMs: overestimation of heavy rain rates and rain cells, and underestimation of light rain occurrence.

Chun-Hsu Su et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Chun-Hsu Su et al.

Chun-Hsu Su et al.


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Short summary
The Bureau of Meteorology Atmospheric Regional Reanalysis for Australia (BARRA) has produced a very high resolution reconstruction of Australian historical weather from 1990 to 2018. This paper demonstrates the added weather and climate information to supplement the coarse or moderate resolution regional and global reanalyses. The new climate data can allow greater understanding of past weather, including extreme events, at the very local kilometre scales.