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The latest version of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) regional model RegCM is used to investigate summer monsoon precipitation over the Philippine archipelago and surrounding ocean waters, a region where regional climate models have not been applied before. The sensitivity of simulated precipitation to driving lateral boundary conditions (NCEP and ERA40 reanalyses) and ocean surface flux scheme (BATS and Zeng) is assessed for 5 monsoon seasons. The ability of the RegCM to simulate the spatial patterns and magnitude of monsoon precipitation is demonstrated, both in response to the prominent large scale circulations over the region and to the local forcing by the physiographical features of the Philippine islands. This provides encouraging indications concerning the development of a regional climate modeling system for the Philippine region. On the other hand, the model shows a substantial sensitivity to the analysis fields used for lateral boundary conditions as well as the ocean surface flux schemes. The use of ERA40 lateral boundary fields consistently yields greater precipitation amounts compared to the use of NCEP fields. Similarly, the BATS scheme consistently produces more precipitation compared to the Zeng scheme. As a result, different combinations of lateral boundary fields and surface ocean flux schemes provide a good simulation of precipitation amounts and spatial structure over the region. The response of simulated precipitation to using different forcing analysis fields is of the same order of magnitude as the response to using different surface flux parameterizations in the model. As a result it is difficult to unambiguously establish which of the model configurations is best performing.
Francisco, R. V., et al. “Regional Model Simulation of Summer Rainfall over the Philippines: Effect of Choice of Driving Fields and Ocean Flux Schemes.” Theoretical & Applied Climatology, vol. 86, no. 1–4, Sept. 2006, pp. 215–227.