Empirical downscaling of high-resolution regional precipitation from large-scale reanalysis fields

Robert E. Nicholas, David S. Battisti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study describes an EOF-based technique for statistical downscaling of high-spatial-resolution monthlymean precipitation fromlarge-scale reanalysis circulation fields. Themethod is demonstrated and evaluated for fourwidely separated locations: the southeasternUnited States, the upperColoradoRiver basin, China's Jiangxi Province, and central Europe. For each location, the EOF-based downscalingmodels successfully reproduce the observed annual cycle while eliminating the biases seen in NCEP-NCAR reanalysis precipitation. They also frequently reproduce the monthly precipitation anomalies with greater fidelity than is seen in the precipitation field derived directly from reanalysis, and they outperform a suite of regional climate models over the two U.S. locations. With the relatively high skill achieved over a range of climate regimes, this technique may be a viable alternative to numerical downscaling of monthly-mean precipitation for many locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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