Evaluation of convective environments in the NARCliM regional climate modeling system for Australia

Kevin K. W. Cheung*, Fei Ji, Nidhi Nishant, Nicholas Herold, Kellie Cook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Severe thunderstorms lead to multiple hazards including torrential precipitation, flash flood, hail, lightning, and wind gusts. The meso- to micro-scale nature of thunderstorms impose great challenges from understanding individual storm dynamics, storm climatology as well as projecting their future activities. High-resolution regional climate models can resolve the convective environments better than global models. Australia, especially the east and southeast parts of the continent, is a global hot spot for severe thunderstorms. This study evaluates the simulated convective environments from the New South Wales (NSW) and Australian Regional Climate Modelling (NARCliM) project based on the parameters of CAPE, CIN, 0–6-km vertical wind shear and storm severity. The ensemble regional downscaling is compared against the fifth-generation European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecast Reanalysis (ERA5). The results show that although there are apparent biases (generally positive for CAPE and negative for CIN, and slightly overestimated vertical wind shear) in the downscaled storm parameters, the climatology of measures of storm severity over land, including their spatial patterns and seasonality, agree well with ERA5. These results have strong implication on the application of the climate projection to assess future convective environments in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number690
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
Issue number4
Early online date6 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • atmospheric instability
  • convective environments
  • global climate models
  • regional downscaling
  • severe thunderstorm
  • vertical wind shear


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