Barrow Sauchyn-2017-An analysis of the performance of RCMs in simulating current climate over western Canada

ABSTRACT: The performance of eight National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP2) reanalysis-driven regional climate models (RCMs), seven from the North American Regional Climate Change Program (NARCCAP) and one from the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX), in simulating the 1980–2004 climate of western Canada was assessed at a number of spatial and temporal scales. Results indicated that the RCMs were more successful at capturing the seasonal spatial distribution of mean temperature than precipitation and that inaccuracies in the spatial distribution of the summer climate moisture index were likely due to the errors in precipitation distribution and amount. All RCMs performed less well in simulating summer precipitation, most likely due to continued problems with the simulation of convective precipitation