A regional climate model hindcast for Siberia assessing the added value of snow water equivalent using ESA GlobSnow and reanalyses


This study analyzes the added value of a regional climate model hindcast of CCLM compared to global reanalyses in providing a reconstruction of recent past snow water equivalent (SWE) for Siberia. Consistent regional climate data in time and space is necessary due to lack of station data in that region. We focus on SWE since it represents an important snow cover parameter in a region where snow has the potential to feed back to the climate of the whole Northern Hemisphere. The simulation was performed in a 50 km grid spacing for the period 1948 to 2010 using NCEP Reanalysis 1 as boundary forcing. Daily observational reference data for the period of 1987–2010 was obtained by the satellite derived SWE product of ESA DUE GlobSnow that enables a large scale assessment. The analyses includes comparisons of the distribution of snow cover extent, example time series of monthly SWE for January and April, regional characteristics of long-term monthly mean, standard deviation and temporal correlation averaged over subregions. SWE of CCLM is compared against the SWE information of NCEP-R1 itself and three more reanalyses (NCEP-R2, NCEP-CFSR, ERA-Interim). We demonstrate a significant added value of the CCLM hindcast during snow accumulation period shown for January for many subregions compared to SWE of NCEP-R1. NCEP-R1 mostly underestimates SWE during whole snow season. CCLM overestimates SWE compared to the satellite-derived product during April – a month representing the beginning of snow melt in southern regions. We illustrate that SWE of the regional hindcast is more consistent in time than ERA-Interim and NCEP-R2 and thus add realistic detail.
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