Regional climate model RCA4 simulations of temperature and precipitation over the Arabian Peninsula: sensitivity to CORDEX domain and lateral boundary conditions

  • F. S. SyedEmail author
  • M. Latif
  • A. Al-Maashi
  • A. Ghulam


Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are increasingly used to add small-scale processes at higher grid resolution that are not represented by their Lateral Boundary Conditions (LBCs). Rossby Centre regional atmospheric model, RCA4, has downscaled three Global Climate Models (GCMs), namely, CNRM-CM5, EC-EARTH and GFDL-ESM2M in the COordinated Regional climate Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX) framework for Middle East North Africa (MENA) and South Asia (SA) domains. Arabian Peninsula is covered in both MENA and SA simulations, which gives a unique opportunity to study the effects of CORDEX domain and LBCs on the simulation of temperature and precipitation by RCM. It is examined by calculating the differences between MENA and SA simulations for different driving GCMs in the historical (1976–2005) and future (2071–2100) periods under RCP8.5 emission scenario, for both summer (dry) and winter (wet) seasons. RCA4 performs generally well when simulating the observed temperature and precipitation patterns, with some local wet biases over Asir Mountains and cold bias over the north eastern parts of Saudi Arabia. The simulations of temperature seem to be very sensitive to the simulation domain (i.e., MENA and SA) and less sensitive to different LBCs, whereas in case of precipitation LBCs seems to play a dominant role. The MENA simulations generally project about 2 °C warmer and drier climate compared to SA simulations by the end of this century, which is comparable to the differences arising due to different LBCs and climate change.


Arabian Peninsula Temperature Precipitation Domain Lateral boundary conditions Sensitivity RCM CORDEX 



The authors thank the CORDEX framework, initiated and funded by the World Climate Research Program (WCRP), for providing Rossby centre RCA4 regional climate model data for Middle East North Africa (MENA) and South Asia (SA) regions available at Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) data portal and hosted at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). We also thanks the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.General Directorate of Climate ServicesThe General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (GAMEP)JeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of MeteorologyCOMSATS University Islamabad (CUI)IslamabadPakistan

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