Developing daily precipitation scenarios for climate change impact studies in the Guadiana and the Tejo basins
Abstract. Hydrological models to evaluate the impacts of climate change in the water resources sector require spatially correlated daily precipitation scenarios as model inputs. This paper presents a practical procedure for developing such precipitation scenarios using multisite stochastic weather models or generators conditional on large-scale daily circulation patterns, based on GCM-simulated future mean sea level pressure (MSLP) fields. The procedure is demonstrated on the basis of HadCM3 and HadAM3H simulations with an example for two river basins in the Iberian Peninsula. Changes in daily precipitation scenarios for the region generated by stochastic models are consistent with large-scale precipitation scenarios from direct GCM outputs; however, more localised characteristics have to be found from downscaled precipitation scenarios rather than from direct GCM outputs. This may imply that possible changes in downscaled precipitation reflect the underlying physics in GCMs, so that downscaled daily precipitation scenarios may be more suitable for impact models than the coarse GCM outputs.