A Reanalysis System for the Generation of Mesoscale Climatographies

Andrea N. Hahmann, Dorita Rostkier-Edelstein, Thomas T. Warner, Francois Vandenberghe, Yubao Liu, Richard Babarsky, Scott P. Swerdlin

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The use of a mesoscale model–based four-dimensional data assimilation (FDDA) system for generating mesoscale climatographies is demonstrated. This dynamical downscaling method utilizes the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5), wherein Newtonian relaxation terms in the prognostic equations continually nudge the model solution toward surface and upper-air observations. When applied to a mesoscale climatography, the system is called Climate-FDDA (CFDDA). Here, the CFDDA system is used for downscaling eastern Mediterranean climatographies for January and July. The downscaling method performance is verified by using independent observations of monthly rainfall, Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) ocean-surface winds, gauge rainfall, and hourly winds from near-coastal towers. The focus is on the CFDDA system’s ability to represent the frequency distributions of atmospheric states in addition to time means. The verification of the monthly rainfall climatography shows that CFDDA captures most of the observed spatial and interannual variability, although the model tends to underestimate rainfall amounts over the sea. The frequency distributions of daily rainfall are also accurately diagnosed for various regions of the Levant, except that very light rainfall days and heavy precipitation amounts are overestimated over Lebanon. The verification of the CFDDA against QuikSCAT ocean winds illustrates an excellent general correspondence between observed and modeled winds, although the CFDDA speeds are slightly lower than those observed. Over land, CFDDA- and the ECMWF-derived wind climatographies when compared with mast observations show similar errors related to their inability to properly represent the local orography and coastline. However, the diurnal variability of the winds is better estimated by CFDDA because of its higher horizontal resolution.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)954-972
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Wind energy
    • Wind power meteorology


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