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 LiEmail author
  • Nicolas C. Jourdain
  • Andréa S. Taschetto
  • Alex Sen Gupta
  • Daniel Argüeso
  • Sébastien Masson
  • Wenju Cai


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.


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



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 ( 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)


  1. Adler RF, Huffman GJ, Chang A et al (2003) The version-2 global precipitation climatology project (GPCP) monthly precipitation analysis (1979-present). J Hydrometeorol 4:1147–1167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldrian E, Dwi Susanto R (2003) Identification of three dominant rainfall regions within Indonesia and their relationship to sea surface temperature. Int J Climatol 23:1435–1452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aldrian E, Sein D, Jacob D, Gates LD, Podzun R (2005) Modelling Indonesian rainfall with a coupled regional model. Clim Dyn 25:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amante C, Eakins BW (2009) ETOPO1 1 arc-minute global relief model: procedures, data sources and analysis. US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Geophysical Data Center, Marine Geology and Geophysics DivisionGoogle Scholar
  5. Arakawa O, Kitoh A (2005) Rainfall diurnal variation over the Indonesian maritime continent simulated by 20 km-mesh GCM. Sola 1:109–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arritt RW (1993) Effects of the large-scale flow on characteristic features of the sea breeze. J Appl Meteorol 32:116–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Banta RM, Olivier LD, Levinson DH (1993) Evolution of the Monterey Bay sea-breeze layer as observed by pulsed Doppler lidar. J Atmospheric Sci 50:3959–3982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barnier B, Dussin R, Molines JM (2011) Scientific Validation Report (ScVR) for V1 Reprocessed Analysis and Reanalysis. WP 04—GLO—CNRS_LEGI GrenobleGoogle Scholar
  9. Bechtold P, Pinty J-P, Mascart F (1991) A numerical investigation of the influence of large-scale winds on sea-breeze-and inland-breeze-type circulations. J Appl Meteorol 30:1268–1279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bellenger H, Takayabu YN, Ushiyama T, Yoneyama K (2010) Role of diurnal warm layers in the diurnal cycle of convection over the tropical Indian Ocean during MISMO. Mon Weather Rev 138:2426–2433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bergemann M, Jakob C, Lane TP (2015) Global detection and analysis of coastline associated rainfall using an objective pattern recognition technique. J Clim 28:7225–7236. doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0098.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bernie DJ, Guilyardi É, Madec G, Slingo JM, Woolnough SJ (2007) Impact of resolving the diurnal cycle in an ocean–atmosphere GCM. Part 1: a diurnally forced OGCM. Clim Dyn 29:575–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bhatt BC, Sobolowski S, Higuchi A (2016) Simulation of diurnal rainfall variability over the Maritime Continent with a high-resolution regional climate model. 気象集誌 第 2 輯 94:89–103Google Scholar
  14. Birch CE, Webster S, Peatman SC, Parker DJ, Matthews AJ, Li Y, Hassim MEE (2016) Scale interactions between the MJO and the western Maritime Continent. J Clim. doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0557.1 Google Scholar
  15. Boyle J, Klein SA (2010) Impact of horizontal resolution on climate model forecasts of tropical precipitation and diabatic heating for the TWP-ICE period. J. Geophys Res Atmos 1984–2012:115Google Scholar
  16. Chang CP, Wang Z, McBride J, Liu C-H (2005) Annual cycle of Southeast Asia-Maritime Continent rainfall and the asymmetric monsoon transition. J Clim 18:287–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chen SS, Houze RA (1997) Diurnal variation and life-cycle of deep convective systems over the tropical Pacific warm pool. Q J R Meteorol Soc 123:357–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chou MD, Suarez MJ (1994) An efficient thermal infrared radiation parameterization for use in general circulation models. NASA Tech. Memo. 104606, Technical Report Series on Global Modeling and Data Assimilation, vol 3. pp 102. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USAGoogle Scholar
  19. Crétat J, Masson S, Berthet S et al (2016) Control of shortwave radiation parameterization on tropical climate SST-forced simulation. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-015-2934-1 Google Scholar
  20. Dayem KE, Noone DC, Molnar P (2007) Tropical western Pacific warm pool and maritime continent precipitation rates and their contrasting relationships with the Walker Circulation. J Geophys Res Atmos 112:D6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dee DP, Uppala SM, Simmons AJ et al (2011) The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:553–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Estoque MA (1962) The sea breeze as a function of the prevailing synoptic situation. J Atmos Sci 19:244–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fang Y, Zhang Y, Tang J, Ren X (2010) A regional air-sea coupled model and its application over East Asia in the summer of 2000. Adv Atmos Sci 27:583–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gianotti RL, Zhang D, Eltahir EA (2012) Assessment of the regional climate model version 3 over the maritime continent using different cumulus parameterization and land surface schemes. J Clim 25:638–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grell GA, Dévényi D (2002) A generalized approach to parameterizing convection combining ensemble and data assimilation techniques. Geophys Res Lett 29:38-1–38-4  CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hallberg R (2013) Using a resolution function to regulate parameterizations of oceanic mesoscale eddy effects. Ocean Model 72:92–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Huffman GJ, Bolvin DT, Nelkin EJ et al (2007) The TRMM multisatellite precipitation analysis (TMPA): quasi-global, multiyear, combined-sensor precipitation estimates at fine scales. J Hydrometeorol 8:38–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ichikawa H, Yasunari T (2006) Time-space characteristics of diurnal rainfall over Borneo and surrounding oceans as observed by TRMM-PR. J Clim 19:1238–1260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ichikawa H, Yasunari T (2008) Intraseasonal variability in diurnal rainfall over New Guinea and the surrounding oceans during austral summer. J Clim 21:2852–2868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Johnson SJ, Levine RC, Turner AG et al (2016) The resolution sensitivity of the South Asian monsoon and Indo-Pacific in a global 0.35 AGCM. Clim Dyn 46:807. doi: 10.1007/s00382-015-2614-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jourdain NC, Marchesiello P, Menkes CE et al (2011) Mesoscale simulation of tropical cyclones in the South Pacific: climatology and interannual variability. J Clim 24:3–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Joyce RJ, Janowiak JE, Arkin PA, Xie P (2004) CMORPH: a method that produces global precipitation estimates from passive microwave and infrared data at high spatial and temporal resolution. J Hydrometeorol 5:487–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Koch-Larrouy A, Lengaigne M, Terray P et al (2010) Tidal mixing in the Indonesian Seas and its effect on the tropical climate system. Clim Dyn 34:891–904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Levitus S, Conkright ME, Boyer TP, O'Brien T, Antonov JI, Stephens C, Stathoplos L, Johnson D, Gelfeld R (1998) World Ocean Database 1998, Volume 1: Introduction. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 18. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, p 346Google Scholar
  35. Love BS, Matthews AJ, Lister G (2011) The diurnal cycle of precipitation over the Maritime Continent in a high-resolution atmospheric model. Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:934–947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lungu, T., and Coauthors (2006) QuikSCAT Science Data Product User’s Manual Version 3.0. -18053-Rev Pasadena CA Jet Propuls. Lab. Calif. Inst. TechnolGoogle Scholar
  37. Madec, G (2008) NEMO ocean engine. Note du Pôle de modélisation, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), France, No 27 ISSN No 1288-1619Google Scholar
  38. Martin GM, Ringer MA, Pope VD et al (2006) The physical properties of the atmosphere in the new Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model (HadGEM1). Part I: model description and global climatology. J Clim 19:1274–1301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Miller STK, Keim BD, Talbot RW, Mao H (2003) Sea breeze: structure, forecasting, and impacts. Rev Geophys 41(3):1011. doi: 10.1029/2003RG000124 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mori S, Jun-Ichi H, Tauhid YI et al (2004) Diurnal land-sea rainfall peak migration over Sumatera Island, Indonesian maritime continent, observed by TRMM satellite and intensive rawinsonde soundings. Mon Weather Rev 132:2021–2039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Moron V, Robertson AW, Qian J-H (2010) Local versus regional-scale characteristics of monsoon onset and post-onset rainfall over Indonesia. Clim Dyn 34:281–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Neale R, Slingo J (2003) The maritime continent and its role in the global climate: a GCM study. J Clim 16:834–848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nesbitt SW, Zipser EJ (2003) The diurnal cycle of rainfall and convective intensity according to three years of TRMM measurements. J Clim 16:1456–1475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Oerder V, Colas F, Echevin V et al (2016) Mesoscale SST–wind stress coupling in the Peru-Chile current system: which mechanisms drive its seasonal variability? Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-015-2965-7 Google Scholar
  45. Oh J-H, Kim K-Y, Lim G-H (2012) Impact of MJO on the diurnal cycle of rainfall over the western Maritime Continent in the austral summer. Clim Dyn 38:1167–1180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Peatman SC, Matthews AJ, Stevens DP (2013) Propagation of the Madden–Julian Oscillation through the Maritime Continent and scale interaction with the diurnal cycle of precipitation. Q J R Meteorol Soc 140:814–825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Qian J-H (2008) Why precipitation is mostly concentrated over islands in the Maritime Continent. J Atmos Sci 65:1428–1441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Qian J-H, Robertson AW, Moron V (2013) Diurnal cycle in different weather regimes and rainfall variability over Borneo associated with ENSO. J Clim 26:1772–1790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ratnam JV, Giorgi F, Kaginalkar A, Cozzini S (2009) Simulation of the Indian monsoon using the RegCM3–ROMS regional coupled model. Clim Dyn 33:119–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rauniyar SP, Walsh KJ (2011) Scale interaction of the diurnal cycle of rainfall over the Maritime Continent and Australia: influence of the MJO. J Clim 24:325–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rauniyar SP, Walsh KJ (2013) Influence of ENSO on the diurnal cycle of rainfall over the Maritime Continent and Australia. J Clim 26:1304–1321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Reynolds RW, Smith TM, Liu C et al (2007) Daily high-resolution-blended analyses for sea surface temperature. J Clim 20:5473–5496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Samson G, Masson S, Lengaigne M et al (2014) The NOW regional coupled model: application to the tropical Indian Ocean climate and tropical cyclone activity. J Adv Model Earth Syst 6:700–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sato T, Miura H, Satoh M et al (2009) Diurnal cycle of precipitation in the tropics simulated in a global cloud-resolving model. J Clim 22:4809–4826CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Schiemann R, Demory M-E, Mizielinski MS et al (2014) The sensitivity of the tropical circulation and Maritime Continent precipitation to climate model resolution. Clim Dyn 42:2455–2468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shin HH, Hong S-Y, Dudhia J, Kim Y-J (2010) Orography-induced gravity wave drag parameterization in the global WRF: implementation and sensitivity to shortwave radiation schemes. Adv Meteorol. doi: 10.1155/2010/959014 Google Scholar
  57. Skamarock, WC, Klemp JB, Dudhia J, Gill DO, Barker D, Duda MG, Huang X-Y, Powers JG, Wang W (2008) A Description of the Advanced Research WRF Version 3. NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN-475 + STR. doi: 10.5065/D68S4MVH
  58. Slingo J, Inness P, Neale R, Woolnough S, Yang G-Y (2003) Scale interactions on diurnal to seasonal timescales and their relevance to model systematic errors. Ann Geophys. doi: 10.4401/ag-3383 Google Scholar
  59. Sobel AH, Burleyson CD, Yuter SE (2011) Rain on small tropical islands. J Geophys Res Atmos 1984–2012:116Google Scholar
  60. Sui CH, Lau KM, Takayabu YN, Short DA (1997) Diurnal variations in tropical oceanic cumulus convection during TOGA COARE. J Atmos Sci 54:639–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Terray P, Kamala K, Masson S et al (2012) The role of the intra-daily SST variability in the Indian monsoon variability and monsoon-ENSO–IOD relationships in a global coupled model. Clim Dyn 39:729–754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. The Drakkar group (2007) Eddy-permitting ocean circulation hindcasts of past decades. Clivar Exch 42:8–10Google Scholar
  63. Valcke S (2013) The OASIS3 coupler: a European climate modelling community software. Geosci Model Dev 6:373–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wang Y, Zhou L, Hamilton K (2007) Effect of convective entrainment/detrainment on the simulation of the tropical precipitation diurnal cycle. Mon Weather Rev 135:567–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wehner MF, Reed KA, Li F et al (2014) The effect of horizontal resolution on simulation quality in the Community Atmospheric Model, CAM5. 1. J Adv Model Earth Syst 6:980–997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wei J, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Eltahir EA et al (2014) Coupling of a regional atmospheric model (RegCM3) and a regional oceanic model (FVCOM) over the maritime continent. Clim Dyn 43:1575–1594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wu C-H, Hsu H-H (2009) Topographic influence on the MJO in the Maritime Continent. J Clim 22:5433–5448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Xue P, Eltahir EA, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Wei J (2014) Local feedback mechanisms of the shallow water region around the Maritime Continent. J Geophys Res Oceans 119:6933–6951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yang G-Y, Slingo J (2001) The diurnal cycle in the tropics. Mon Weather Rev 129:784–801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zhou L, Wang Y (2006) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission observation and regional model study of precipitation diurnal cycle in the New Guinean region. J Geophys Res Atmos. doi: 10.1029/2006JD007243 Google Scholar
  71. Zou L, Zhou T (2011) Sensitivity of a regional ocean-atmosphere coupled model to convection parameterization over western North Pacific. J Geophys Res Atmos. doi: 10.1029/2011JD015844 Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations