Climate Dynamics

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 511–529

Regional climate modelling over complex terrain: an evaluation study of COSMO-CLM hindcast model runs for the Greater Alpine Region


    • Climate Research DepartmentZentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG)
  • Ivonne Anders
    • Climate Research DepartmentZentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG)
  • Michael Hofstätter
    • Climate Research DepartmentZentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG)

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-012-1452-7

Cite this article as:
Haslinger, K., Anders, I. & Hofstätter, M. Clim Dyn (2013) 40: 511. doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1452-7


In this study the results of the regional climate model COSMO-CLM (CCLM) covering the Greater Alpine Region (GAR, 4°–19°W and 43°–49°N) were evaluated against observational data. The simulation was carried out as a hindcast run driven by ERA-40 reanalysis data for the period 1961–2000. The spatial resolution of the model data presented is approx. 10 km per grid point. For the evaluation purposes a variety of observational datasets were used: CRU TS 2.1, E-OBS, GPCC4 and HISTALP. Simple statistics such as mean biases, correlations, trends and annual cycles of temperature and precipitation for different sub-regions were applied to verify the model performance. Furthermore, the altitude dependence of these statistical measures has been taken into account. Compared to the CRU and E-OBS datasets CCLM shows an annual mean cold bias of −0.6 and −0.7 °C, respectively. Seasonal precipitation sums are generally overestimated by +8 to +23 % depending on the observational dataset with large variations in space and season. Bias and correlation show a dependency on altitude especially in the winter and summer seasons. Temperature trends in CCLM contradict the signals from observations, showing negative trends in summer and autumn which are in contrast to CRU and E-OBS.

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© Springer-Verlag 2012