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Sensitivity of MM5 Mesoscale Model to Physical Parameterizations for Regional Climate Studies: Annual Cycle

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research
Year: 2007   Volume: 112
Initial page: 4101  
Status: Published
PDF file: 2007_fernandez_JGR.pdf
DOI: 10.1029/2005JD006649
Authors:
, Montávez, J.P., Sáenz, J., González-Rouco, J.F., Zorita, E.

We present an analysis of the sensitivity to different physical parameterizations of a high-resolution simulation of the MM5 mesoscale model over the Iberian Peninsula. Several (16) 5-year runs of the MM5 model with varying parameterizations of microphysics, cumulus, planetary boundary layer and longwave radiation have been carried out. The results have been extensively compared with observational precipitation and surface temperature data. The parameterization uncertainty has also been compared with that related to the boundary conditions and the varying observational data sets. The annual cycles of precipitation and surface temperature are well reproduced. The summer season presents the largest deviations, with a 5 K cold bias in the southeast and noticeable precipitation errors over mountain areas. The cold bias seems to be related to the surface, probably because of the excessive moisture availability of the five-layer soil scheme used. No parameterization combination was found to perform best in simulating both precipitation and surface temperature in every season and subregion. The Kain-Fritsch cumulus scheme was found to produce unrealistically high summer precipitation. The longwave radiation parameterizations tested were found to have little impact on our target variables. Other factors, such as the choice of boundary conditions, have an impact on the results as large as the selection of parameterizations. The range of variability in the MM5 physics ensemble is of the same order of magnitude as the observational uncertainty, except in summer, when it is larger and probably related to the inaccuracy of the model to reproduce the summer precipitation over the area.

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