Comparing tropical precipitation simulated by the Met Office NWP and climate models with satellite observations

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Liu, Chunlei ; Allan, Richard P. ; Brooks, Malcolm ; Milton, Sean (2014)

Forecasts of precipitation and water vapor made by the Met Office global numerical weather prediction\ud (NWP) model are evaluated using products from satellite observations by the Special Sensor Microwave\ud Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation\ud Analysis (TMPA) for June–September 2011, with a focus on tropical areas (308S–308N). Consistent with\ud previous studies, the predicted diurnal cycle of precipitation peaks too early (by ;3 h) and the amplitude is\ud too strong over both tropical ocean and land regions. Most of the wet and dry precipitation biases, particularly\ud those over land, can be explained by the diurnal-cycle discrepancies. An overall wet bias over the\ud equatorial Pacific and Indian Oceans and a dry bias over the western Pacific warmpool and India are linked\ud with similar biases in the climate model, which shares common parameterizations with the NWP version.\ud Whereas precipitation biases develop within hours in the NWP model, underestimates in water vapor\ud (which are assimilated by the NWP model) evolve over the first few days of the forecast. The NWP simulations\ud are able to capture observed daily-to-intraseasonal variability in water vapor and precipitation,\ud including fluctuations associated with tropical cyclones.
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