Evaluation of the warm season diurnal cycle of precipitation over Sweden simulated by the Rossby Centre regional climate model RCA3
This study examines the diurnal cycle of precipitation over Sweden for the warm season (April to September) both in hourly observational data and in simulations from the Rossby Centre regional climate model (RCA3). A series of parallel long-term simulations of RCA3 with different horizontal resolutions - 50, 25, 12, and 6 km - were analyzed to investigate the sensitivity of the model's horizontal resolution to the simulated diurnal cycle of precipitation. Overall, a clear distinction between an afternoon peak for inland stations and an early morning peak for stations along the Eastern coast is commonly found both in observation and model results. However, the diurnal cycle estimated from the model simulations show too early afternoon peaks with too large amplitude compared to the observation. Increasing horizontal model resolution tends to reduce this bias both in peak timing and amplitude, but this resolution effect seems not to be monotonic; this is clearly seen only when comparing coarser resolution results with the 6 km resolution result. As the resolution increases, the peak timing and amplitude of the diurnal cycle of resolved large-scale precipitation become more similar to the observed cycle of total precipitation while the contribution of subgrid scale convective precipitation to the total precipitation decreases. An increase in resolution also tends to reduce too much precipitation of relatively light intensity over inland compared to the observation, which may also contribute to the more realistic simulation of the afternoon peak in convective precipitation.