Comparison of Linear Predictability of Surface Wind Components from Observations with Simulations from RCMs and Reanalysis

Date

2018-04

Authors

Mao, Yiwen
Monahan, Adam H.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology

Abstract

This study compares the predictability of surface wind components by linear statistical downscaling using data from both observations and comprehensive models [regional climate models (RCM) and NCEP-2 reanalysis] in three domains: North America (NAM), Europe–Mediterranean Basin (EMB), and East Asia (EAS). A particular emphasis is placed on predictive anisotropy, a phenomenon referring to unequal predictability of surface wind components in different directions. Simulated predictability by comprehensive models is generally close to that found in observations in flat regions of NAM and EMB, but it is overestimated relative to observations in mountainous terrain. Simulated predictability in EAS shows different structures. In particular, there are regions in EAS where predictability simulated by RCMs is lower than that in observations. Overestimation of predictability by comprehensive models tends to occur in regions of low predictability in observations and can be attributed to small-scale physical processes not resolved by comprehensive models. An idealized mathematical model is used to characterize the predictability of wind components. It is found that the signal strength along the direction of minimum predictability is the dominant control on the strength of predictive anisotropy. The biases in the model representation of the statistical relationship between free-tropospheric circulation and surface winds are interpreted in terms of inadequate simulation of small-scale processes in regional and global models, and the primary cause of predictive anisotropy is attributed to such small-scale processes.

Description

Keywords

Asia, Europe, North America, Regression analysis, Reanalysis data, Regional models

Citation

Mao, Y. & Monahan, A. (2018). Comparison of Linear Predictability of Surface Wind Components from Observations with Simulations from RCMs and Reanalysis. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 57(4), 889-906. https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-17-0283.1