Scale-Aware and Definition-Aware Evaluation of Modeled Near-Surface Precipitation Frequency Using CloudSat Observations

TitleScale-Aware and Definition-Aware Evaluation of Modeled Near-Surface Precipitation Frequency Using CloudSat Observations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume123
Number8
Pages4294-4309
Date Published02/2019
Abstract / Summary

It has long been stated that precipitation is too frequent in climate models as compared to observations. But most satellite-based observational datasets of precipitation, like TRMM 3B42 and GPCP (the only ones that provide broad coverage) do not include measurements sensitive to light precipitation, which dominates precipitation frequency. In this study, we introduce a forward model from CESM to CloudSat observations. Unlike other satellites, CloudSat is sensitive to light precipitation, but due to its sampling and saturation characteristics, it is not incorporated into most precipitation observational datasets. We show that when compared against this dataset which is state-of-the-art for light precipitation frequency, CESM precipitation is far to frequent at all latitudes. The bias is not ameliorated when appropriately compared to more accurate observations.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2017jd028213
DOI10.1002/2017jd028213
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Year of Publication: 2019
Volume: 123
Number: 8
Pages: 4294-4309
Date Published: 02/2019

It has long been stated that precipitation is too frequent in climate models as compared to observations. But most satellite-based observational datasets of precipitation, like TRMM 3B42 and GPCP (the only ones that provide broad coverage) do not include measurements sensitive to light precipitation, which dominates precipitation frequency. In this study, we introduce a forward model from CESM to CloudSat observations. Unlike other satellites, CloudSat is sensitive to light precipitation, but due to its sampling and saturation characteristics, it is not incorporated into most precipitation observational datasets. We show that when compared against this dataset which is state-of-the-art for light precipitation frequency, CESM precipitation is far to frequent at all latitudes. The bias is not ameliorated when appropriately compared to more accurate observations.

DOI: 10.1002/2017jd028213
Citation:
Kay, JE, T L'Ecuyer, A Pendergrass, H Chepfer, R Guzman, and V Yettella.  2019.  "Scale-Aware and Definition-Aware Evaluation of Modeled Near-Surface Precipitation Frequency Using CloudSat Observations."  Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 123(8): 4294-4309.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2017jd028213.