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Climate Dynamics

, Volume 48, Issue 11–12, pp 4009–4028 | Cite as

Resolution dependence of the simulated precipitation and diurnal cycle over the Maritime Continent

  • Yue Li
  • Nicolas C. Jourdain
  • Andréa S. Taschetto
  • Alex Sen Gupta
  • Daniel Argüeso
  • Sébastien Masson
  • Wenju Cai
Article

Abstract

The Maritime Continent is a region of intense rainfall characterised by a strong diurnal cycle. This study investigates the sensitivity of rainfall characteristics to resolution in a coupled regional climate model configuration, in particular focusing on processes that modulate the diurnal cycle. Model biases are resolution dependent. Increasing resolution from 3/4° to 1/4° improves the mean state sea surface temperature and precipitation biases. However, at higher resolutions (1/12°) rainfall becomes too strong in most areas. Daily maximum rainfall is simulated about 2–4 h earlier than in observations over both the land and the ocean, with only small improvements over high topography at higher resolution. We develop a technique to examine cross-coastal processes associated with the rainfall diurnal cycle along all coastlines. This is used to investigate the sensitivity of the diurnal cycle to resolution and to the direction of the prevailing wind. During offshore prevailing winds, most land rainfall is confined near the coastline and associated with a shallow land-sea breeze circulation at all resolution (though rainfall partly develops directly inland at 1/12°). During onshore prevailing winds, rainfall propagates from the coastline to the island interior at 1/4° and 1/12°, whereas it appears directly over the island interior at 3/4°, and this is associated with a deep convective cell across the coastline for all resolutions. Oceanic rainfall propagates far offshore during offshore prevailing winds at all resolutions, whereas it tends to remain confined near the coastline under onshore prevailing winds condition, particularly at higher resolution.

Keywords

Maritime Continent Diurnal cycle Regional coupled model Horizontal resolution Land-sea breeze Prevailing wind 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CE110001028) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia. The collaboration with S.M. was supported by the Visiting Researcher Fellowship of the UNSW faculty of science and by the project PULSATION ANR-11-MONU-0010 of the French National Research Agency (ANR). WRF was provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (http://www2.mmm.ucar.edu/wrf/users/download/get_source.htm). All the simulations were performed on the Australian National Computational Infrastructure (NCI).

Supplementary material

382_2016_3317_MOESM1_ESM.docx (417 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 417 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS)University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LGGEGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LGGEGrenobleFrance
  4. 4.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, SOESTUniversity of Hawai’i at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  5. 5.LOCEAN LaboratorySorbonne Univ. (UPMC, Univ. Paris 06)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN, IPSLParisFrance
  6. 6.CSIRO Oceans and AtmosphereAspendaleAustralia

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