In this study, we investigated the effects of grid and spectral nudging in regional hydroclimatic simulations over the Eastern Mediterranean climate change hot-spot. We performed year-long simulations for the hydrological year October 2001–September 2002 using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model at 12-km resolution, driven by the ERA-Interim reanalyses. Six grid and three spectral nudging options were tested using a number of model configurations. Due to the large uncertainty of regional observations, we compared the model with various satellite- and station-based meteorological datasets. The effect of nudging was tested for mean weather conditions and precipitation characteristics and extremes. For certain parts of the study domain, WRF was found to reproduce both aspects of rainfall over the Eastern Mediterranean reasonably well. Our findings highlighted that, for the WRF modeling system, nudging is critical for the simulation of rainfall; however, the application of interior constraint methods was found to have different impacts on various locations and climatic regimes. For the hyperarid parts of the domain, nudging did not improve the simulation of precipitation amounts (about 20% additional drying was introduced), while it added much value for the wetter rainfall regimes of the Eastern Mediterranean (corrections of about 30%). Improvements in the simulated precipitation were mostly introduced by spectral nudging; however, this option required significant computational resources. For these ERA-Interim-driven simulations, grid nudging that involves specific humidity within the planetary boundary layer is not recommended for the simulation of precipitation since it introduces dry biases up to 75–80%.
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