Climate Dynamics

, Volume 37, Issue 5–6, pp 941–955 | Cite as

Diagnostic metrics for evaluation of annual and diurnal cycles

  • Bin Wang
  • Hyung-Jin Kim
  • Kazuyoshi Kikuchi
  • Akio Kitoh


Two sets of diagnostic metrics are proposed for evaluation of global models’ simulation of annual and diurnal cycles of precipitation. The metrics for the annual variation include the annual mean, the solstice and equinoctial asymmetric modes of the annual cycle (AC), and the global monsoon precipitation domain and intensity. The metrics for the diurnal variation include the diurnal range, the land–sea contrast and transition modes of the diurnal cycle (DC), and the diurnal peak propagation in coastal regions. The proposed modes for the AC and DC represent faithfully the first two leading empirical orthogonal functions and explain, respectively, 82% of the total annual variance and 87% of the total diurnal variance over the globe between 45°S and 45°N. The simulated AC and DC by the 20-km-mesh MRI/JMA atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) are in a wide-ranging agreement with observations; the model considerably outperforms any individual AMIP II GCMs and has comparable performance to 12-AMIP II model ensemble simulation measured by Pearson’s pattern correlation coefficient. Comparison of four versions of the MRI/JMA AGCM with increasing resolution (180, 120, 60, and 20 km) reveals that the 20-km version reproduces the most realistic annual and diurnal cycles. However, the improved performance is not a linear function of the resolution. Marked improvement of the simulated DC (AC) occurs at the resolution of 60 km (20 km). The results suggest that better represented parameterizations that are adequately tuned to increased resolutions may improve models’ simulation on the forced responses. The common deficiency in representing the monsoon domains suggests the models having difficulty in replicating annual march of the Subtropical Highs that is largely driven by prominent east-west land–ocean thermal contrast. Note that the 20-km model reproduces realistic diurnal cycle, but fails to capture realistic Madden-Julian Oscillation.


  1. Adler RF, Huffman GJ, Chang A, Ferraro R, Xie P, Janowiak J, Rudolf B, Schneider U, Curtis S, Bolvin D, Gruber A, Susskind J, Arkin P, Nelkin E (2003) The version-2 global precipitation climatology project (GPCP) monthly precipitation analysis (1979-present). J Hydrometeor 4:1147–1167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Collier JC, Bowman KP (2004) Diurnal cycle of tropical precipitation in a general circulation model. J Geophys Res 109:D17105. doi:10.1029/2004JD004818 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dai A (2001) Global precipitation and thunderstorm frequencies. Part II: diurnal variations. J Clim 14:1112–1128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dai A, Trenberth KE (2004) The diurnal cycle and its depiction in the Community Climate System Model. J Climate 17:930–951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dai A, Wang J (1999) Diurnal and semidiurnal tides in global surface pressure fields. J Atmos Sci 56:3874–3891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dai A, Lin X, Hsu K-L (2007) The frequency, intensity, and diurnal cycle of precipitation in surface and satellite observations over low- and mid-latitudes. Clim Dyn 29:727–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hastenrath SL (1968) Fourier analysis of Central American rainfall. Arch Meteor Geophys Bioklimatol B16:81–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Horn LH, Bryson RA (1960) Harmonic analysis of the annual March of precipitation over the United States. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 50:157–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hsu C-P, Wallace JM (1976) The global distribution of the annual and semiannual cycles in precipitation. Mon Weather Rev 104:1093–1101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Huffman GJ, Adler RF, Bolvin DT, Gu GJ, Nelkin EJ, Bowman KP, Hong Y, Stocker EF, Wolff DB (2007) The TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis: quasi-global multi-year, combined-sensor precipitation estimates at fine scale. J Hydrometeor 8:38–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. JMA (2002) Outline of the operational numerical weather prediction at the Japan Meteorological Agnecy (Appendix to WMO numerical weather prediction progress report). Japan Meteorological Agency, 157 pp.
  12. Johnson RH (2010) The diurnal cycle of monsoon convection. In: Chang CP (ed) The global monsoon system: research and forecast, World Scientific (in press)Google Scholar
  13. Kang IS, Jin K, Wang B, Lau KM, Shukla J, Krishnamurthy V, Schubert SD, Wailser DE, Stern WF, Kitoh A, Meehl GA, Kanamitsu M, Galin VY, Satyan V, Park CK, Liu Y (2002) Intercomparison of the climatological variations of Asian summer monsoon precipitation simulated by 10 GCMs. Clim Dyn 19:383–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kikuchi K, Wang B (2008) Diurnal precipitation regimes in the global tropics. J Clim 21:2680–2696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kim HJ, Wang B, Ding Q (2008) The global monsoon variability simulated by CMIP3 coupled climate models. J Clim 21:5271–5294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kitoh A, Kusunoki S (2008) East Asian summer monsoon simulation by a 20-km mesh AGCM. Clim Dyn 31:389–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kusunoki S, Yoshimura J, Yoshimura H, Noda A, Oouchi K, Mizuta R (2006) Change of baiu rain band in global warming projection by an atmospheric general circulation model with a 20-km grid size. J Meteorol Soc Japan 84:581–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lee J-Y et al (2010) How are seasonal prediction skills related to models’ performance on mean state and annual cycle? Clim Dyn. doi:10.1007/s00382-010-0857-4
  19. Liu J, Wang B, Ding Q, Kuang X, Soon W, Zorita E (2009a) Centennial variations of the global monsoon precipitation in the last millennium: results from ECHO-G model. J Clim 22:2356–2371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liu P, Kajikawa Y, Wang B, Kitoh A, Yasunari T, Li T, Annamalai H, Fu X, Kikuchi K, Mizuta R, Rajendran K, Waliser DE, Kim D (2009b) Tropical intraseasonal variability in the MRI-20km60L AGCM. J Clim 22:2006–2022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mapes BE, Warner TT, Xu M (2003) Diurnal patterns of rainfall in northwestern South America. Part III: diurnal gravity waves and nocturnal convection offshore. Mon Weather Rev 131:830–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mizuta R, Oouchi K, Yoshimura H, Noda A, Katayama K, Yukimoto S, Hosaka M, Kusunoki S, Kawai H, Nakagawa M (2006) 20-km-Mesh global climate simulations using JMA-GSM model––mean climate states. J Meteor Soc Jpn 84:165–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mokhov II (1985) Method of amplitude-phase characteristics for analyzing climate dynamics. Meteor Gidrol 5:80–89Google Scholar
  24. Murakami H, Matsumura T (2007) Development of an effective non-linear normal-mode initialization method for a high-resolution global model. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 85:187–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Oouchi K, Yoshimura J, Yoshimura H, Mizuta R, Kusunoki S, Noda A (2006) Tropical cyclone climatology in a global-warming climate as simulated in a 20 km-mesh global atmospheric model: frequency and wind intensity analyses. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 84:259–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ploshay JJ, Lau NC (2010) Simulation of diurnal cycle in precipitation and circulation during boreal summer with a high-resolution GCM. J Clim (Submitted)Google Scholar
  27. Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kent EC, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108(D14):4407. doi:10.1029/2002JD002670 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Slingo J, Inness P, Neale R, Woolnough S, Yang GY (2003) Scale interactions on diurnal to seasonal timescales and their relevance to model systematic errors. Ann Geophys 46:139–155Google Scholar
  29. Sperber KR, Palmer TN (1996) Interannual tropical rainfall variability in general circulation model simulations associated with the atmospheric model intercomparison project. J Clim 9:2727–2750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tao S, Chen L (1987) A review of recent research on the East Asian summer monsoon in China. In: Chang CP, Krishnamurti TN (eds) Monsoon meteorology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 60–92Google Scholar
  31. Waliser D et al (2009) MJO simulation diagnostics. J Clim 22:3006–3030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wallace JM (1975) Diurnal variations in precipitation and thunderstorm frequency over the conterminous United States. Mon Weather Rev 103:406–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wang B (1994) Climatic regimes of tropical convection and rainfall. J Clim 7:1109–1118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang B, Ding Q (2006) Changes in global monsoon precipitation over the past 56 years. Geophys Res Lett 33:L06711. doi:10.1029/2005GL025347 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wang B, Ding Q (2008) Global monsoon: dominant mode of annual variation in the tropics. Dyn Atmos Ocean 44:165–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wang B, Wu R, Lau KM (2001) Interannual variability of the Asian summer monsoon: contrasts between the Indian and the western North Pacific-east Asian monsoons. J Clim 14:4073–4090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang B, Bao Q, Hoskins B, Wu G, Liu Y (2008) Tibetan Plateau warming and precipitation change in East Asia. Geophys Res Lett 35:L14702. doi:10.1029/2008GL034330 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wilks DS (1995) Statistical method in Atmospheric Sciences, International geophysics Series, vol 59. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  39. Wu G-X, Liu Yimin (2003) Summertime quadruplet heating pattern in the subtropics and the associated atmospheric circulation. Geophys Res Lett 30(5):1201. doi:10.1029/2002GL016209,5_1-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wu G-X, Liu Y, Zhu X, Li W, Ren R, Duan A, Liang X (2009) Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon. Ann Geophys 27:3631–3644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xie P, Arkin PA (1997) Global precipitation: a 17-year monthly analysis based on gauge observations, satellite estimates, and numerical model outputs. Bull Am Meteor Soc 78:2539–2558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yang S, Smith EA (2006) Mechanisms for diurnal variability of global tropical rainfall observed from TRMM. J Clim 19:5190–5226CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Wang
    • 1
  • Hyung-Jin Kim
    • 2
  • Kazuyoshi Kikuchi
    • 2
  • Akio Kitoh
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Meteorology and International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and TechnologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and TechnologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Meteorological Research InstituteTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations