Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 134, Issue 1–2, pp 283–307 | Cite as

Assessment of CORDEX-SA experiments in representing precipitation climatology of summer monsoon over India

  • A. Choudhary
  • A. P. DimriEmail author
  • P. Maharana
Original Paper


The present work assesses the performance of 11 regional climate simulations in representing the precipitation patterns of summer monsoon over India for the period 1970–2005. These simulations have been carried out under Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment–South Asia (CORDEX-SA) project. The regional climate models (RCMs) have been inter-compared as well as evaluated against the observation to identify the common weaknesses and differences between them. For this, a number of statistical analysis has been carried out to compare the model precipitation field with the corresponding observation. Model uncertainty has been also evaluated through bias studies and analysis of the spread in the ensemble mean (hereafter, ensemble). The models which perform better than the rest are identified and studied to look for any improvement in the ensemble performance. These better performing experiments (best RCM experiments) are further assessed over the monsoon core region (MCR) of India. This has been done to understand how well the models perform in a spatially homogeneous zone of precipitation which is considered to be a representative region of Indian summer monsoon characteristics. Finally, an additional analysis has been done to quantify the skill of models based on two different metrics—performance and convergence including a combination of the two. The experiment with regional model RegCM4 forced with the global model GFDL-ESM2M shows the highest combined mean skill in capturing the seasonal mean precipitation. In general, a significant dry bias is found over a larger part of India in all the experiments which seems most pronounced over the central Indian region. Ensemble on an average tends to outperform many of the individual experiments with bias of smaller magnitude and an improved spatial correlation compared with the observation. Experiments which perform better over India improve the results but only slightly in terms of agreement among experiments and bias.



This work is supported by the junior research fellowship provided to A. Choudhary by University Grants Commission, India. The authors thank the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Regional Climate, the Working Group on Coupled Modeling which formerly coordinated CORDEX. We are also grateful to the climate modeling groups (listed in Table 1) for producing and making available their model output. The authors also thank the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) infrastructure and the Climate Data Portal at Center for Climate Change Research (CCCR), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, India for provision of CORDEX South Asia data. The gridded precipitation dataset used as reference have been obtained from the India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. NCEP Reanalysis data for wind provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their web site at is also acknowledged. The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewer for valuable suggestions and comments which helped in improving the manuscript.

Supplementary material

704_2017_2274_MOESM1_ESM.docx (738 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 737 kb).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD)ParisFrance

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