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Daily Precipitation Statistics for South America: An Intercomparison between NCEP Reanalyses and Observations

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  • 1 NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Climate Prediction Center, Camp Springs, Maryland
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Abstract

In this study, the authors document the extent to which the precipitation statistics of the new CFS reanalysis (CFSR) represent an improvement over the earlier reanalyses: the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis (R1) and the NCEP–DOE Second Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP-II) reanalysis (R2). An intercomparison between the CFSR, R1, R2, and observations over South America was made for the period 1979–2006. The CFSR shows notable improvements in the large-scale precipitation patterns compared with the previous reanalyses (R1 and R2). In spite of these improvements, the CFSR has substantial biases in intensity and frequency of occurrence of rainfall events. Over west-central Brazil, the core region of the South American monsoon system (SAMS), the CFSR displays a dry bias during the onset phase of the SAMS wet season and a wet bias during the peak and decay phases of the SAMS wet season. The CFSR also displays a dry bias along the South American coast near the mouth of the Amazon and along the east coast of northeastern Brazil. A wet bias exists in all seasons over southeast Brazil and over the Andes Mountains.

Corresponding author address: Viviane B. S. Silva, NOAA/Climate Prediction Center, 5200 Auth Rd., Room 811, Camp Springs, MD 20746. Email: Viviane.Silva@noaa.gov

Abstract

In this study, the authors document the extent to which the precipitation statistics of the new CFS reanalysis (CFSR) represent an improvement over the earlier reanalyses: the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis (R1) and the NCEP–DOE Second Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP-II) reanalysis (R2). An intercomparison between the CFSR, R1, R2, and observations over South America was made for the period 1979–2006. The CFSR shows notable improvements in the large-scale precipitation patterns compared with the previous reanalyses (R1 and R2). In spite of these improvements, the CFSR has substantial biases in intensity and frequency of occurrence of rainfall events. Over west-central Brazil, the core region of the South American monsoon system (SAMS), the CFSR displays a dry bias during the onset phase of the SAMS wet season and a wet bias during the peak and decay phases of the SAMS wet season. The CFSR also displays a dry bias along the South American coast near the mouth of the Amazon and along the east coast of northeastern Brazil. A wet bias exists in all seasons over southeast Brazil and over the Andes Mountains.

Corresponding author address: Viviane B. S. Silva, NOAA/Climate Prediction Center, 5200 Auth Rd., Room 811, Camp Springs, MD 20746. Email: Viviane.Silva@noaa.gov

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