This paper evaluates convective precipitation as simulated by the convection-permitting climate model (CPM) Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling in climate mode (COSMO-CLM) (with 2.8 km grid-spacing) over Germany in the period 2001–2015. Characteristics of simulated convective precipitation objects like lifetime, area, mean intensity, and total precipitation are compared to characteristics observed by weather radar. For this purpose, a tracking algorithm was applied to simulated and observed precipitation with 5-min temporal resolution. The total amount of convective precipitation is well simulated, with a small overestimation of 2%. However, the simulation underestimates convective activity, represented by the number of convective objects, by 33%. This underestimation is especially pronounced in the lowlands of Northern Germany, whereas the simulation matches observations well in the mountainous areas of Southern Germany. The underestimation of activity is compensated by an overestimation of the simulated lifetime of convective objects. The observed mean intensity, maximum intensity, and area of precipitation objects increase with their lifetime showing the spectrum of convective storms ranging from short-living single-cell storms to long-living organized convection like supercells or squall lines. The CPM is capable of reproducing the lifetime dependence of these characteristics but shows a weaker increase in mean intensity with lifetime resulting in an especially pronounced underestimation (up to 25%) of mean precipitation intensity of long-living, extreme events. This limitation of the CPM is not identifiable by classical evaluation techniques using rain gauges. The simulation can reproduce the general increase of the highest percentiles of cell area, total precipitation, and mean intensity with temperature but fails to reproduce the increase of lifetime. The scaling rates of mean intensity and total precipitation resemble observed rates only in parts of the temperature range. The results suggest that the evaluation of coarse-grained (e.g., hourly) precipitation fields is insufficient for revealing challenges in convection-permitting simulations.
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