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Modeling Precipitation: Evaluation in Oceanic Extratropical Cyclones using IMERG


The North American Extratropical Cyclone of October 26-27, 2010 Credit: NOAA

With precipitation in the midlatitudes predominantly produced in extratropical cyclones, research efforts have strived to find new ways of evaluating and analyzing model precipitation errors. However, due to the sheer number of processes involved in the production of precipitation, it is a difficult parameter to model. In a new Journal of Climate article, author Jeyavinoth Jeyaratnam and MAPP-funded PIs Catherine Naud, James Booth, Ming Zhao, and Andrew Gettelman, analyzed extratropical cyclone precipitation using a high spatial and temporal resolution precipitation dataset, Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG). Extratropical cyclone precipitation was then evaluated in two reanalyses and two climate models over the midlatitude oceans. From this research, it was found that while all four models agreed on the total precipitation in extratropical cyclones, the models underestimated precipitation in the ascent region (east) of cyclones and overestimated precipitation in the subsidence region (west). In addition, all models overestimated frequency of precipitation and underestimated intensity when compared to the IMERG. These findings suggest the models produced extratropical cyclone precipitation too often and too lightly. 

Read the full paper here.


About MAPP

The Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program is a competitive research program in NOAA Research’s Climate Program Office. MAPP’s mission is to enhance the Nation’s and NOAA’s capability to understand, predict, and project variability and long-term changes in Earth’s system and mitigate human and economic impacts. To achieve its mission, MAPP supports foundational research, transition of research to applications, and engagement across other parts of NOAA, among partner agencies, and with the external research community. MAPP plays a crucial role in enabling national preparedness for extreme events like drought and longer-term climate changes. For more information, please visit

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