Evaluation of a High-Resolution Regional Reanalysis for Europe

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Christian Ohlwein1, Sabrina Wahl2, Jan Dominik Keller3 and Christoph Bollmeyer1, (1)University of Bonn, Meteorological Institute, Bonn, Germany, (2)University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany, (3)Deutscher Wetterdienst Nieder, Offenbach, Germany
Reanalyses gain more and more importance as a source of meteorological information for many purposes and applications. Several global reanalyses projects (e.g., ERA, MERRA, CSFR, JMA9) produce and verify these data sets to provide time series as long as possible combined with a high data quality. Due to a spatial resolution down to 50-70km and 3-hourly temporal output, they are not suitable for small scale problems (e.g., regional climate assessment, meso-scale NWP verification, input for subsequent models such as river runoff simulations). The implementation of regional reanalyses based on a limited area model along with a data assimilation scheme is able to generate reanalysis data sets with high spatio-temporal resolution.

Within the Hans-Ertel-Centre for Weather Research (HErZ), the climate monitoring branch concentrates efforts on the assessment and analysis of regional climate in Germany and Europe. In joint cooperation with DWD (German Meteorological Service), a high-resolution reanalysis system based on the COSMO model has been developed. The regional reanalysis for Europe matches the domain of the CORDEX EURO-11 specifications, albeit at a higher spatial resolution, i.e., 0.055° (6km) instead of 0.11° (12km) and comprises the assimilation of observational data using the existing nudging scheme of COSMO complemented by a special soil moisture analysis with boundary conditions provided by ERA‐Interim data. The reanalysis data set covers 6 years (2007-2012) and is currently extended to 16 years.

Extensive evaluation of the reanalysis is performed using independent observations with special emphasis on precipitation and high-impact weather situations indicating a better representation of small scale variability. Further, the evaluation shows an added value of the regional reanalysis with respect to the forcing ERA Interim reanalysis and compared to a pure high-resolution dynamical downscaling approach without data assimilation.