Evaluation of water vapor distribution in general circulation models using satellite observations

Brian J Soden, F. P. Bretherton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents a comparison of the water vapor distribution obtained from two general circulation models, the ECMWF model and the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM), with satellite observations of total precipitable water (TPW) from SSM/I and upper tropospheric relative humidity (UTH) from GOES. Overall, both models are successful in capturing the primary features of the observed water vapor distribution and its seasonal variation. For the ECMWF model, however, a systematic moist bias in TPW is noted over well-known stratocumulus regions in the eastern subtropical oceans. Comparison with radiosonde profiles suggests that this problem is attributable to difficulties in modeling the shallowness of the boundary layer and large vertical water vapor gradients which characterize these regions. In comparison, the CCM is more successful in capturing the low values of TPW in the stratocumulus regions, although it tends to exhibit a dry bias over the eastern half of the subtropical oceans and a corresponding moist bias in the western half. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1210
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume99
Issue numberD1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

precipitable water
satellite observation
Steam
water vapor
general circulation model
stratocumulus
Satellites
Climate models
evaluation
climate models
climate modeling
Water
oceans
SSM-I
GOES
ocean
radiosonde
water
Radiosondes
radiosondes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Evaluation of water vapor distribution in general circulation models using satellite observations. / Soden, Brian J; Bretherton, F. P.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 99, No. D1, 1994, p. 1187-1210.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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