Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2285-2298, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-8-2285-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Methods for assessment of models
29 Jul 2015
An observation-constrained multi-physics WRF ensemble for simulating European mega heat waves
A. I. Stegehuis1, R. Vautard1, P. Ciais1, A. J. Teuling2, D. G. Miralles3,4, and M. Wild5 1LSCE/IPSL, Laboratoire CEA/CNRS/UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
3Department of Earth Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
4Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
5ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Abstract. Many climate models have difficulties in properly reproducing climate extremes, such as heat wave conditions. Here we use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model with a large combination of different atmospheric physics schemes, in combination with the NOAH land-surface scheme, with the goal of detecting the most sensitive physics and identifying those that appear most suitable for simulating the heat wave events of 2003 in western Europe and 2010 in Russia. In total, 55 out of 216 simulations combining different atmospheric physical schemes have a temperature bias smaller than 1 °C during the heat wave episodes, the majority of simulations showing a cold bias of on average 2–3 °C. Conversely, precipitation is mostly overestimated prior to heat waves, and shortwave radiation is slightly overestimated. Convection is found to be the most sensitive atmospheric physical process impacting simulated heat wave temperature across four different convection schemes in the simulation ensemble. Based on these comparisons, we design a reduced ensemble of five well performing and diverse scheme configurations, which may be used in the future to perform heat wave analysis and to investigate the impact of climate change during summer in Europe.

Citation: Stegehuis, A. I., Vautard, R., Ciais, P., Teuling, A. J., Miralles, D. G., and Wild, M.: An observation-constrained multi-physics WRF ensemble for simulating European mega heat waves, Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2285-2298, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-8-2285-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
Many climate models have difficulties in properly reproducing climate extremes such as heat wave conditions. We use a regional climate model with different atmospheric physics schemes to simulate the heat wave events of 2003 in western Europe and 2010 in Russia. The five best-performing and diverse physics scheme combinations may be used in the future to perform heat wave analysis and to investigate the impact of climate change in summer in Europe.
Many climate models have difficulties in properly reproducing climate extremes such as heat wave...
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