, Volume 42, Issue 3-4, pp 629-647,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 12 Feb 2013

Assessment of RegCM4 simulated inter-annual variability and daily-scale statistics of temperature and precipitation over Mexico

Abstract

The skill of a regional climate model (RegCM4) in capturing the mean patterns, interannual variability and extreme statistics of daily-scale temperature and precipitation events over Mexico is assessed through a comparison of observations and a 27-year long simulation driven by reanalyses of observations covering the Central America CORDEX domain. The analysis also includes the simulation of tropical cyclones. It is found that RegCM4 reproduces adequately the mean spatial patterns of seasonal precipitation and temperature, along with the associated interannual variability characteristics. The main model bias is an overestimation of precipitation in mountainous regions. The 5 and 95 percentiles of daily temperature, as well as the maximum dry spell length are realistically simulated. The simulated distribution of precipitation events as well as the 95 percentile of precipitation shows a wet bias in topographically complex regions. Based on a simple detection method, the model produces realistic tropical cyclone distributions even at its relatively coarse resolution (dx = 50 km), although the number of cyclone days is underestimated over the Pacific and somewhat overestimated over the Atlantic and Caribbean basins. Overall, it is assessed that the performance of RegCM4 over Mexico is of sufficient quality to study not only mean precipitation and temperature patterns, but also higher order climate statistics.