Can regional climate models represent the Indian monsoon?

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


The ability of four regional climate models (RCMs) to represent the Indian monsoon was verified in a consistent framework for the period 1981-2000 using the 45-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA-40) as lateral boundary forcing data. During the monsoon period, the RCMs are able to capture the spatial distribution of precipitation with a maximumover the central and west coast of India, but with important biases at the regional scale on the east coast of India in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Most models are too warm in the north of India compared to the observations. This has an impact on the simulated mean sea level pressure from the RCMs, being in general too low compared to ERA- 40. Those biases perturb the land-sea temperature and pressure contrasts that drive the monsoon dynamics and, as a consequence, lead to an overestimation of wind speed, especially over the sea. The timing of the monsoon onset of the RCMs is in good agreement with the one obtained from observationally based gridded datasets, while the monsoon withdrawal is less well simulated. A Hovmöller diagram representation of the mean annual cycle of precipitation reveals that the meridional motion of the precipitation simulated by the RCMs is comparable to the one observed, but the precipitation amounts and the regional distribution differ substantially between the four RCMs. In summary, the spread at the regional scale between the RCMs indicates that important feedbacks and processes are poorly, or not, taken into account in the state-of-the-art regional climate models.

TidsskriftJournal of Hydrometeorology
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)849-868
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2011
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 186940581