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A Hybrid Statistical-Dynamical Downscaling of Air Temperature over Scandinavia Using the WRF Model


An accurate simulation of air temperature at local scales is crucial for the vast majority of weather and climate applications. In this work, a hybrid statistical–dynamical downscaling method and a high-resolution dynamical-only downscaling method are applied to daily mean, minimum and maximum air temperatures to investigate the quality of localscale estimates produced by downscaling. These two downscaling approaches are evaluated using station observation data obtained from the Finnish Meteorological Institute over a near-coastal region of western Finland. The dynamical downscaling is performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, and the statistical downscaling method implemented is the Cumulative Distribution Function-transform (CDF-t). The CDF-t is trained using 20 years of WRF-downscaled Climate Forecast System Reanalysis data over the region at a 3-km spatial resolution for the central month of each season. The performance of the two methods is assessed qualitatively, by inspection of quantile-quantile plots, and quantitatively, through the Cramer-von Mises, mean absolute error, and root-mean-square error diagnostics. The hybrid approach is found to provide significantly more skillful forecasts of the observed daily mean and maximum air temperatures than those of the dynamical-only downscaling (for all seasons). The hybrid method proves to be less computationally expensive, and also to give more skillful temperature forecasts (at least for the Finnish near-coastal region).


精确模拟局地气温在天气、气候的业务预报和研究中均有重要作用。本文中对比分析了混合动力-统计降尺度和仅动力降尺度两种降尺度方法对局地日平均气温、最高、最低气温的估计能力。文中作为对比的观测资料来源于芬兰气象研究所,关注的区域为西芬兰的近岸区域。动力降尺度方法中采用WRF模型,而混合动力-统计降尺度方法是在WRF模型的基础上,运用了累积分布函数转换法作统计降尺度。在该方法中利用了基于WRF模型的20年气候预测系统再分析数据,空间分辨率为3km,用每个季度的中间月份来做统计降尺度。作者用分位数图对两种降尺度方法的估计效果做了定性分析,同时用Cramer-von Mises检验、平均绝对误差和均方根误差做了定量比较。结果表明混合动力-统计降尺度的预报效果显著高于仅动力降尺度方法,动力-统计降尺度的这种优势体现在所有季节中。至少对于芬兰近岸区域来说,混合降尺度花费更少的计算资源,且对温度的预报精确性更高。

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We acknowledge Botnia-Atlantica, an EU-programme financing cross border cooperation projects in Sweden, Finland and Norway, for their support of this work through the WindCoE project. We would like to thank the High Performance Computing Center North for providing the computer resources needed to perform the numerical experiments presented in this paper. We would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their detailed and insightful comments and suggestions, which helped to improve the quality of the paper.

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Correspondence to Jianfeng Wang.

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Article Highlights

• Hybrid statistical–dynamical and dynamical-only downscaling techniques are assessed for air temperature forecasts over Scandinavia.

• WRF output at a 3-km spatial resolution combined with CDF-t is used as the hybrid technique.

• WRF output at a 1-km spatial resolution is used as the dynamical-only downscaling approach.

• The hybrid method is computationally cheaper and gives more skillful forecasts, particularly of daily mean and maximum air temperatures.

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Wang, J., Fonseca, R.M., Rutledge, K. et al. A Hybrid Statistical-Dynamical Downscaling of Air Temperature over Scandinavia Using the WRF Model. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 37, 57–74 (2020).

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Key words

  • WRF
  • air temperature
  • Cumulative Distribution Function-transform
  • hybrid statistical–dynamical downscaling
  • model evaluation
  • Scandinavian Peninsula


  • WRF模式
  • 气温
  • 累积分布函数转换法
  • 混合动力-统计降尺度
  • 模型评估
  • 斯堪的纳维亚半岛