Management of water resources may benefit from seasonal precipitation forecasts, but for obtaining high enough resolution, dynamical downscaling is necessary. This study investigated the downscaling capability of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model ARW, version 3.5, on seasonal precipitation forecasts for the Hanjiang basin in China during 2001–09, which was the water source of the middle route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP). The WRF Model is forced by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Operational Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), and it performs at a high horizontal resolution of 10 km with four selected convection schemes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center global daily precipitation data were employed to evaluate the WRF Model on multiple scales. On average, when large biases were removed, the WRF Model slightly outperformed the CFSv2 in all seasons, especially summer. In particular, the Kain–Fritsch convective scheme performed best in summer, whereas little difference was found in winter. The WRF Model showed similar results in monthly precipitation, but no time-dependent characteristics were observed for all months. The spatial anomaly correlation coefficient showed greater uncertainty than the bias and the temporal correlation coefficient. In addition, the performance of the WRF Model showed considerable regional variations. The upper basin always showed better agreement with observations than did the middle and lower parts of the basin. A comparison of the forecast and observed daily precipitation revealed that the WRF Model can provide more accurate extreme precipitation information than the CFSv2.
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