Simulation of temperature and precipitation climatology for the CORDEX-MENA/Arab domain using RegCM4

  • Mansour AlmazrouiEmail author
  • M. Nazrul Islam
  • A. K. Alkhalaf
  • Fahad Saeed
  • Ramzah Dambul
  • M. Ashfaqur Rahman
Original Paper


The performance of a regional climate model RegCM4.3.4 (RegCM4) in simulating the climate characteristics of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been evaluated. The simulations carried out in this study contribute to the joint effort by the international regional downscaling community called Coordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX). The model has been forced with the boundary conditions obtained from the global reanalysis dataset ERA-Interim for the period 1979–2010. An east–west cold bias is found in the northern part of the MENA domain in RegCM4 that is absent in the ERA-Interim driving forcings, whereas a large warm bias is found over the southern Arabian Peninsula (Yemen/Oman) for both RegCM4 and ERA-Interim. The possible causes leading to the warm bias over Yemen/Oman in the RegCM4 are discussed. The model performed well in capturing the salient features of precipitation which includes ITCZ, Mediterranean cyclones as well as precipitation minima over the deserts. Moreover, the annual cycles of precipitation and mean temperature over the prominent river basins of the region have been ably captured by the model. Temperature-precipitation relationship revealed that the ERA-Interim driving forcings stay closer to the observations; however, RegCM4 remains competent for most of the Koppen-Geiger climate classification types. Performance of the model in capturing the near surface winds and specific humidity is also presented. Based on the results of this study, it is concluded that RegCM4 is well suited to conduct long-term high-resolution climate change projection for the future period over the CORDEX-MENA/Arab domain.


Temperature Rainfall Simulation Regional climate model CORDEX-MENA/Arab domain 



The authors would like to acknowledge the grant by the NSTIP strategic technologies program in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia– Project No. 12-ENV3197-03 to complete this work– and the Science and Technology Unit, King Abdulaziz University for technical support. ICTP, Trieste, Italy, is acknowledged for providing the model and the CRU data were acquired from their website. The simulations in this work were performed using Aziz Supercomputer at King Abdulaziz University’s High Performance Computing Center. The League of Arab States (LAS) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) are also acknowledged for leading and facilitating the “Regional Initiative for the Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Socio-economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region (RICCAR)”.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mansour Almazroui
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Nazrul Islam
    • 1
  • A. K. Alkhalaf
    • 1
  • Fahad Saeed
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ramzah Dambul
    • 1
  • M. Ashfaqur Rahman
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of MeteorologyKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Sustainable Development Policy InstituteIslamabadPakistan

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