Multiresolution comparison of precipitation datasets for large-scale models

Friday, 19 December 2014
Kwok Pan Chun1, Gonzalo Sapriza Azuri1, Bruce Davison2, Chris Michael DeBeer1 and Howard S Wheater1, (1)University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, (2)Environment Canada, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Gridded precipitation datasets are crucial for driving large-scale models which are related to weather forecast and climate research. However, the quality of precipitation products is usually validated individually. Comparisons between gridded precipitation products along with ground observations provide another avenue for investigating how the precipitation uncertainty would affect the performance of large-scale models. In this study, using data from a set of precipitation gauges over British Columbia and Alberta, we evaluate several widely used North America gridded products including the Canadian Gridded Precipitation Anomalies (CANGRD), the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis, the Water and Global Change (WATCH) project, the thin plate spline smoothing algorithms (ANUSPLIN) and Canadian Precipitation Analysis (CaPA). Based on verification criteria for various temporal and spatial scales, results provide an assessment of possible applications for various precipitation datasets. For long-term climate variation studies (~100 years), CANGRD, NCEP, WATCH and ANUSPLIN have different comparative advantages in terms of their resolution and accuracy. For synoptic and mesoscale precipitation patterns, CaPA provides appealing performance of spatial coherence. In addition to the products comparison, various downscaling methods are also surveyed to explore new verification and bias-reduction methods for improving gridded precipitation outputs for large-scale models.