Uncovering the shortcomings of a weather typing method

Van Uytven, Els; De Niel, Jan; Willems, Patrick

In recent years many methods for statistical downscaling of the precipitation climate model outputs have been developed. Statistical downscaling is performed under general and method-specific (structural) assumptions but those are rarely evaluated simultaneously. This paper illustrates the verification and evaluation of the downscaling assumptions for a weather typing method. Using the observations and outputs of a global climate model ensemble, the skill of the method is evaluated for precipitation downscaling in central Belgium during the winter season (December to February). Shortcomings of the studied method have been uncovered and are identified as biases and a time-variant predictor–predictand relationship. The predictor–predictand relationship is found to be informative for historical observations but becomes inaccurate for the projected climate model output. The latter inaccuracy is explained by the increased importance of the thermodynamic processes in the precipitation changes. The results therefore question the applicability of the weather typing method for the case study location. Besides the shortcomings, the results also demonstrate the added value of the Clausius–Clapeyron relationship for precipitation amount scaling. The verification and evaluation of the downscaling assumptions are a tool to design a statistical downscaling ensemble tailored to end-user needs.

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Van Uytven, Els / De Niel, Jan / Willems, Patrick: Uncovering the shortcomings of a weather typing method. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Els Van Uytven et al.

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