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Climate 2015, 3(2), 283-307; doi:10.3390/cli3020283

Perspectives for Very High-Resolution Climate Simulations with Nested Models: Illustration of Potential in Simulating St. Lawrence River Valley Channelling Winds with the Fifth-Generation Canadian Regional Climate Model

Centre ESCER (Étude et Simulation du Climat à l'Échelle Régionale), Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H2H-2J2, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zewdu T. Segele
Received: 24 December 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
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Abstract

With the refinement of grid meshes in regional climate models permitted by the increase in computing power, the grid telescoping or cascade method, already used in numerical weather prediction, can be applied to achieve very high-resolution climate simulations. The purpose of this study is two-fold: (1) to illustrate the perspectives offered by climate simulations on kilometer-scale grid meshes using the wind characteristics in the St. Lawrence River Valley (SLRV) as the test-bench; and (2) to establish some constraints to be satisfied for the physical realism and the computational affordability of these simulations. The cascade method is illustrated using a suite of five one-way nested, time-slice simulations carried out with the fifth-generation Canadian Regional Climate Model, with grid meshes varying from roughly 81 km, successively to 27, 9, 3 and finally 1 km, over domains centered on the SLRV. The results show the added value afforded by very high-resolution meshes for a realistic simulation of the SLRV winds. Kinetic energy spectra are used to document the spin-up time and the effective resolution of the simulations as a function of their grid meshes. A pragmatic consideration is developed arguing that kilometer-scale simulations could be achieved at a reasonable computational cost with time-slice simulations of high impact climate events. This study lends confidence to the idea that climate simulations and projections at kilometer-scale could soon become operationally feasible, thus offering interesting perspectives for resolving features that are currently out of reach with coarser-mesh models. View Full-Text
Keywords: regional climate modeling; very high resolution; cascade; grid telescoping; Canadian regional climate model; St. Lawrence River Valley winds regional climate modeling; very high resolution; cascade; grid telescoping; Canadian regional climate model; St. Lawrence River Valley winds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cholette, M.; Laprise, R.; Thériault, J.M. Perspectives for Very High-Resolution Climate Simulations with Nested Models: Illustration of Potential in Simulating St. Lawrence River Valley Channelling Winds with the Fifth-Generation Canadian Regional Climate Model. Climate 2015, 3, 283-307.

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