A Comparison of Tropical Precipitation Simulated by the Community Climate Model with That Measured by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Satellite

J. Craig Collier Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Search for other papers by J. Craig Collier in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Kenneth P. Bowman Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Search for other papers by Kenneth P. Bowman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Gerald R. North Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Search for other papers by Gerald R. North in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

This study evaluates the simulation of tropical precipitation by the Community Climate Model, version 3, (CCM3) developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Monthly mean precipitation rates from an ensemble of CCM3 simulations are compared to those computed from observations of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite over a 44-month period. On regional and subregional scales, the comparison fares well over much of the Eastern Hemisphere south of 10°S and over South America. However, model– satellite differences are large in portions of Central America and the Caribbean, the southern tropical Atlantic, the northern Indian Ocean, and the western equatorial and southern tropical Pacific. Since precipitation in the Tropics is the primary source of latent energy to the general circulation, such large model–satellite differences imply large differences in the amount of latent energy released. Differences tend to be seasonally dependent north of 10°N, where model wet biases occur in realistic wet seasons or model-generated artificial wet seasons. South of 10°N, the model wet biases exist throughout the year or have no recognizable pattern.

Corresponding author address: J. Craig Collier, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, 3150 TAMU, College Station, TX 77845. Email: jcollier@ariel.met.tamu.edu

Abstract

This study evaluates the simulation of tropical precipitation by the Community Climate Model, version 3, (CCM3) developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Monthly mean precipitation rates from an ensemble of CCM3 simulations are compared to those computed from observations of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite over a 44-month period. On regional and subregional scales, the comparison fares well over much of the Eastern Hemisphere south of 10°S and over South America. However, model– satellite differences are large in portions of Central America and the Caribbean, the southern tropical Atlantic, the northern Indian Ocean, and the western equatorial and southern tropical Pacific. Since precipitation in the Tropics is the primary source of latent energy to the general circulation, such large model–satellite differences imply large differences in the amount of latent energy released. Differences tend to be seasonally dependent north of 10°N, where model wet biases occur in realistic wet seasons or model-generated artificial wet seasons. South of 10°N, the model wet biases exist throughout the year or have no recognizable pattern.

Corresponding author address: J. Craig Collier, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, 3150 TAMU, College Station, TX 77845. Email: jcollier@ariel.met.tamu.edu

Save
  • Adler, R. F., G. J. Huffman, D. T. Bolvin, S. Curtis, and E. J. Nelkin, 2000: Tropical rainfall distributions determined using TRMM combined with other satellite and rain gauge information. J. Appl. Meteor, 39 , 20072023.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barnett, T. P., 1995: Monte Carlo climate forecasting. J. Climate, 8 , 10051022.

  • Bell, T. L., and P. K. Kundu, 1996: A study of the sampling error in satellite rainfall estimates using optimal averaging of data and a stochastic model. J. Climate, 9 , 12511268.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bell, T. L., and P. K. Kundu, 2000: Dependence of satellite sampling error on monthly averaged rain rates: Comparison of simple models and recent studies. J. Climate, 13 , 449462.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bell, T. L., and P. K. Kundu, 2003: Comparing satellite rainfall estimates with rain gauge data: Optimal strategies suggested by a spectral model. J. Geophys. Res.,108, 4121, doi:10.1029/2002JD002641.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bell, T. L., P. K. Kundu, and C. D. Kummerow, 2001: Sampling errors of SSM/ I and TRMM rainfall averages: Comparison with error estimates from surface data and a simple model. J. Appl. Meteor, 40 , 938954.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bowman, K. P., A. B. Phillips, and G. R. North, 2003: Comparison of TRMM rainfall retrievals with rain gauge data from the TAO/ TRMM buoy array. Geophys. Res. Lett.,30, 1757, doi:10.1029/ 2003GL017552.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Busuioc, A., Hvon Storch, and R. Schnur, 1999: Verification of GCM-generated regional seasonal precipitation for current climate and of statistical downscaling estimates under changing climate conditions. J. Climate, 12 , 258272.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cess, R., 1985: Nuclear war: Illustrative effects of atmospheric smoke and dust upon solar radiation. Climatic Change, 7 , 237251.

  • Chen, M., R. E. Dickinson, X. Zeng, and A. N. Hahmann, 1996: Comparison of precipitation observed over the continental United States to that simulated by a climate model. J. Climate, 9 , 22332249.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, T-C., and M-C. Yen, 1994: Interannual variation of the Indian monsoon simulated by the NCAR Community Climate Model: Effect of the tropical Pacific SST. J. Climate, 7 , 14031415.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deshpande, J. V., A. P. Gore, and E. A. Shanubhogue, 1995: Statistical Analysis of Nonnormal Data. John Wiley & Sons, 240 pp.

  • Ebert, E., and J. Curry, 1992: A parameterization of ice cloud optical properties for climate models. J. Geophys. Res, 97 , 38313836.

  • Espenshade Jr., E. B., Ed.,. 1995: Goode's World Atlas. 19th ed. Rand McNally, 372 pp.

  • Hack, J., 1994: Parameterization of moist convection in the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model (CCM2). J. Geophys. Res, 99 , 55515568.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holtslag, A. A. M., and B. A. Boville, 1993: Local versus nonlocal boundary-layer diffusion in a global climate model. J. Climate, 6 , 18251842.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kendrew, W. G., 1953: The Climates of the Continents. 4th ed. Clarendon Press, 607 pp.

  • Kiehl, J., J. Hack, G. Bonan, B. Boville, B. Briegleb, D. Williamson, and P. Rasch, 1996: Description of the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM3). NCAR Tech. Rep. NCAR/TN-420+STR, Boulder, CO, 152 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kirkyla, K. I., and S. Hameed, 1989: Harmonic analysis of the seasonal cycle in precipitation over the United States: A comparison between observations and a general circulation model. J. Climate, 2 , 14631475.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kummerow, C., W. Barnes, T. Kozo, J. Shiue, and J. Simpson, 1998: The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) sensor package. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol, 15 , 809817.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kummerow, C., and Coauthors, 2000: The status of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) after two years in orbit. J. Appl. Meteor, 39 , 19651982.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lau, K-M., and H. T. Wu, 2001: Principal modes of rainfall–SST variability of the Asian summer monsoon: A reassessment of the monsoon–ENSO relationship. J. Climate, 14 , 28802895.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lin, X., L. D. Fowler, and D. A. Randall, 2002: Flying the TRMM Satellite in a general circulation model. J. Geophys. Res.,107, 4281, doi:10.1029/2001JD000619.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lindzen, R. S., 1981: Turbulence and stress owing to gravity wave and tidal breakdown. J. Geophys. Res, 86 , 97079714.

  • Liou, K., 1992: Radiation and Cloud Processes in the Atmosphere. Oxford University Press, 487 pp.

  • Lorenz, E. N., 1963: Deterministic nonperiodic flow. J. Atmos. Sci, 20 , 130141.

  • McFarlane, N., 1987: The effect of orographically excited wave drag on the general circulation of the lower stratosphere and troposphere. J. Atmos. Sci, 44 , 17751800.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mo, K. C., and R. W. Higgins, 1998: Tropical influences on California precipitation. J. Climate, 11 , 412430.

  • Montroy, D. L., 1997: Linear relation of central and eastern North American precipitation to tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies. J. Climate, 10 , 541558.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Negri, A. J., and T. L. Bell, 2002: Sampling of the diurnal cycle of precipitation using TRMM. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol, 19 , 13331344.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Newman, M., P. D. Sardeshmukh, and J. W. Bergman, 2000: An assessment of the NCEP, NASA, and ECMWF reanalyses over the tropical west Pacific warm pool. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc, 81 , 4148.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pant, G. B., and K. R. Kumar, 1997: Climates of South Asia. John Wiley & Sons, 320 pp.

  • PRB, cited 2003: Population Reference Bureau: World population data sheet. [Available online at http://www.prb.org.].

  • Ramanathan, V., 1976: Radiative transfer within the earth's troposphere and stratosphere: A simplified radiative-convective model. J. Atmos. Sci, 33 , 13301346.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ramanathan, V., and P. Downey, 1986: A nonisothermal emissivity and absorptivity formulation for water vapor. J. Geophys. Res, 91 , 86498666.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roads, J., 2003: The NCEP–NCAR, NCEP–DOE, and TRMM tropical atmosphere hydrologic cycles. J. Hydrometeor, 4 , 826840.

  • Ropelewski, C., and M. Halpert, 1987: Global and regional scale precipitation patterns associated with the EI Niño/Southern Oscillation. Mon. Wea. Rev, 115 , 16061626.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ropelewski, C., and M. Halpert, 1989: Precipitation patterns associated with the high index phase of the Southern Oscillation. J. Climate, 2 , 268284.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rouault, M., C. J. C. Reason, J. Lutjeharms, and A. Beljaars, 2003: Underestimation of latent and sensible heat fluxes above the Agulhas Current in NCEP and ECMWF analyses. J. Climate, 16 , 776782.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shin, K-S., and G. R. North, 1988: Sampling error study for rainfall estimate by satellite using a stochastic model. J. Appl. Meteor, 27 , 12181231.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Simpson, J., R. F. Adler, and G. R. North, 1988: A proposed Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc, 69 , 278294.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Slingo, J., 1987: The development and verification of a cloud prediction scheme for the ECMWF model. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc, 113 , 899927.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Slingo, J., 1989: A GCM parameterization for the shortwave radiative properties of water clouds. J. Atmos. Sci, 46 , 14191427.

  • Sperber, K., and T. Palmer, 1996: Interannual tropical rainfall variability in general circulation model simulations associated with the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project. J. Climate, 9 , 27272750.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, K. E., D. Williamson, and F. Zwiers, 2000: The sea surface temperature and sea-ice concentration boundary conditions for AMIP II simulations. Tech. Rep. 60, Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 25 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tracton, M. S., and E. Kalnay, 1993: Operational ensemble prediction at the National Meteorological Center: Practical aspects. Wea. Forecasting, 8 , 379398.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trigo, R. M., and J. P. Palutikof, 2001: Precipitation scenarios over Iberia: A comparison between direct GCM output and different downscaling techniques. J. Climate, 14 , 44224446.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vogelzang, D., and A. Holtslag, 1996: Evaluation and model impacts of alternative boundary-layer height formulations. Bound.-Layer Meteor, 81 , 245269.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wu, R., and S-P. Xie, 2003: On equatorial Pacific surface wind changes around 1977: NCEP–NCAR reanalysis versus COADS observations. J. Climate, 16 , 167173.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, G. J., and N. A. McFarlane, 1995: Sensitivity of climate simulations to the parameterization of cumulus convection in the Canadian Climate Centre general circulation model. Atmos.– Ocean, 33 , 407446.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, G. J., J. T. Kiehl, and P. J. Rasch, 1998: Response of climate simulation to a new convective parameterization in the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model (CCM3). J. Climate, 11 , 20972115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 155 40 3
PDF Downloads 33 22 4