Near-surface wind variability over the broader Adriatic region: insights from an ensemble of regional climate models

  • Andreina Belušić
  • Maja Telišman Prtenjak
  • Ivan Güttler
  • Nikolina Ban
  • David Leutwyler
  • Christoph Schär
Article

Abstract

Over the past few decades the horizontal resolution of regional climate models (RCMs) has steadily increased, leading to a better representation of small-scale topographic features and more details in simulating dynamical aspects, especially in coastal regions and over complex terrain. Due to its complex terrain, the broader Adriatic region represents a major challenge to state-of-the-art RCMs in simulating local wind systems realistically. The objective of this study is to identify the added value in near-surface wind due to the refined grid spacing of RCMs. For this purpose, we use a multi-model ensemble composed of CORDEX regional climate simulations at 0.11° and 0.44° grid spacing, forced by the ERA-Interim reanalysis, a COSMO convection-parameterizing simulation at 0.11° and a COSMO convection-resolving simulation at 0.02° grid spacing. Surface station observations from this region and satellite QuikSCAT data over the Adriatic Sea have been compared against daily output obtained from the available simulations. Both day-to-day wind and its frequency distribution are examined. The results indicate that the 0.44° RCMs rarely outperform ERA-Interim reanalysis, while the performance of the high-resolution simulations surpasses that of ERA-Interim. We also disclose that refining the grid spacing to a few km is needed to properly capture the small-scale wind systems. Finally, we show that the simulations frequently yield the accurate angle of local wind regimes, such as for the Bora flow, but overestimate the associated wind magnitude. Finally, spectral analysis shows good agreement between measurements and simulations, indicating the correct temporal variability of the wind speed.

Keywords

Adriatic region CORDEX Regional climate models Convection-resolving models 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Andrija Mohorovičić Geophysical Institute, Department of Geophysics, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia (DHMZ)ZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Institute for Atmospheric and Climate ScienceETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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