Issues in simulating the annual precipitation of a semiarid region in central Spain

N. Hasler, Roni Avissar, G. E. Liston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Running regional climate models at a high resolution may improve their ability to simulate regional precipitation patterns, making them suitable for studying the impact of human-induced land-cover changes on hydrometeorology. The performance of the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) run in the high-resolution climate mode (4-km grid mesh) has been tested over a small domain in a semiarid region in central Spain. Three 1-yr simulations representing dry, intermediate, and wet conditions were compared to observations collected in 35 rain gauges. The model captured general spatiotemporal features of precipitation, such as the timing of precipitation events and approximate location of storms. A high correlation (0.82) between monthly domain-averaged observed and modeled precipitation was obtained. However, the model had a systematic dry bias, averaging -0.29 mm day-1, equivalent to 26% of annual rainfall. The small domain size, chosen because of computational limits, induced strong lateral boundary forcing, which, combined with uncertainty in NCEP relative humidity fields, was a likely cause for this dry bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-422
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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