An Analysis of (Sub-)Hourly Rainfall in Convection-Permitting Climate Simulations Over Southern Sweden From a User’s Perspective

Jonas Olsson, Yiheng Du, Dong An, Cintia B. Uvo, Johanna Sörensen, Erika Toivonen, Danijel Belušić, Andreas Dobler

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


To date, the assessment of hydrological climate change impacts, not least on pluvial flooding, has been severely limited by i) the insufficient spatial resolution of regional climate models (RCMs) as well as ii) the simplified description of key processes, e.g., convective rainfall generation. Therefore, expectations have been high on the recent generation of high-resolution convection-permitting regional climate models (CPRCMs), to reproduce the small-scale features of observed (extreme) rainfall that are driving small-scale hydrological hazards. Are they living up to these expectations? In this study, we zoom in on southern Sweden and investigate to which extent two climate models, a 3-km resolution CPRCM (HCLIM3) and a 12-km non-convection permitting RCM (HCLIM12), are able to reproduce the rainfall climate with focus on short-duration extremes. We use three types of evaluation–intensity-based, time-based and event-based–which have been designed to provide an added value to users of high-intensity rainfall information, as compared with the ways climate models are generally evaluated. In particular, in the event-based evaluation we explore the prospect of bringing climate model evaluation closer to the user by investigating whether the models are able to reproduce a well-known historical high-intensity rainfall event in the city of Malmö 2014. The results very clearly point at a substantially reduced bias in HCLIM3 as compared with HCLIM12, especially for short-duration extremes, as well as an overall better reproduction of the diurnal cycles. Furthermore, the HCLIM3 model proved able to generate events similar to the one in Malmö 2014. The results imply that CPRCMs offer a clear potential for increased confidence in future projections of small-scale hydrological climate change impacts, which is crucial for climate-proofing, e.g., our cities, as well as climate modeling in general.

TidskriftFrontiers in Earth Science
StatusPublished - 2021 jul 2

Bibliografisk information

Funding Information:
The HCLIM simulations were performed by the NorCP (Nordic Convection Permitting Climate Projections) project group, a collaboration between DMI (DK), FMI (FI), MET Norway (NO) and SMHI (SE). Computational and storage resources were provided by ECMWF in Reading (United Kingdom) and SNIC at the Swedish National Supercomputing Center (NSC), Link?ping University. We are very grateful for helpful and constructive comments on the original article by three reviewers.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Olsson, Du, An, Uvo, Sörensen, Toivonen, Belušić and Dobler.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Oceanografi, hydrologi, vattenresurser
  • Vattenteknik
  • Meteorologi och atmosfärforskning


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