Examination of Climate Simulations Across Spatial Resolutions and their Representation of the Continental High Temperature Bias over North America

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Roy Rasmussen1, Andrew James Newman2, Kyoko Ikeda1, Changhai Liu2 and Michael J Barlage1, (1)NCAR/RAL, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
Many Global Climate Models (GCMs) are known to have a high near surface temperature bias over the central portions of Northern Hemisphere continents (e.g. North America). It has been postulated that this high bias is due to the lack of propagating convection in the GCMs, due to their coarse resolution and convective parameterizations. Recent results from the Clouds Above the United States and Errors at the Surface (CAUSES) program indicate that there may be myriad factors contributing to the high bias. Additionally, high resolution, convection permitting simulations (grid spacing of 4 km) performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have shown that the warm bias persists, even though propagating convection is now resolved in long-term climate simulations.

This presentation will examine summertime retrospective regional climate simulations with high temperature biases over the contiguous United States (CONUS) at resolutions similar to GCMs (36-km grid spacing) down to convective permitting resolutions (4-km grid spacing). Identification of days with and without large bias contributions are examined and contrasted. Differences in regional water budgets, surface precipitation, representations of propagating convection, mesoscale organized downdrafts and their evolution will be diagnosed. Use of surface, radiosonde, radar, and satellite observations can highlight key differences in the evolution of clouds, precipitation and resultant cold pools. Additional aspects related to the land-surface such as albedo specification, sensible and latent heat flux partitioning and irrigation impacts on flux partitioning will be discussed.