An Iberian climatology of solar radiation obtained from WRF regional climate simulations for 1950–2010 period

João Perdigão, Rui Salgado, Clarisse Magarreiro, Pedro M.M. Soares, Maria João Costa, Hari Prasad Dasari

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11 Scopus citations


The mesoscale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is used over the Iberian Peninsula to generate 60years (1950–2010) of climate data, at 5km resolution, in order to evaluate and characterize the incident shortwave downward radiation at the surface (SW↓), in present climate.The simulated values of SW↓ in the period 2000–2009 were compared with data measured in Spanish and Portuguese meteorological stations before and a statistical BIAS correction was applied using data from Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES), on board four different satellites. The spatial and temporal comparison between WRF results and observations show a good agreement for the analyzed period, although the model overestimates observations. This overestimation has a mean normalized bias of about 7% after BIAS correction (or 17% for original WRF output). Additionally, the present simulation was confronted against another previously validated WRF simulation performed with different resolution and set of parametrizations, showing comparable results. WRF adequately reproduces the observational features of SW↓ with correlation coefficients above 0.8 in annual and seasonal basis.60years of simulated SW↓ over the Iberian Peninsula were produced, which showed annual mean values that range from 130W/m2, in the northern regions, to a maximum of around 230W/m2 in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula (IP). SW↓ over IP shows a positive gradient from north to south and from west to east, with local effects influenced by topography and distance to the coast.The analysis of the simulated cloud fraction indicates that clear sky days are found in >30% of the period at the southern area of IP, particularly in the Algarve (Portugal) and Andalusia (Spain), and this value increases significantly in the summer season for values above 80%.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Research
StatePublished - Aug 15 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The work is co-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund, included in the COMPETE 2020 (Operational Program Competitiveness and Internationalization) through the ICT project (UID/GEO/04683/2013) with the reference POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007690 and also through the ALOP project (ALT20-03-0145-FEDER-000004). Clarisse Magarreiro wishes to acknowledge the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) grant SFRH/BD/79544/2011. Pedro M.M. Soares thanks the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) for funding under Project SOLAR - PTDC/GEOMET/7078/2014. The authors are grateful to AEMET (Spanish Weather service) and IPMA (Portuguese Weather service) for providing surface data used in this work and NASA for providing CERES data.


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