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A method for deterministic statistical downscaling of daily precipitation at a monsoonal site in Eastern China

Liu, Yonghe, Feng, Jinming, Liu, Xiu, Zhao, Yadi
Theoretical and applied climatology 2019 v.135 no.1-2 pp. 85-100
atmospheric precipitation, hydrology, linear models, monsoon season, summer, watersheds, winter, China
Statistical downscaling (SD) is a method that acquires the local information required for hydrological impact assessment from large-scale atmospheric variables. Very few statistical and deterministic downscaling models for daily precipitation have been conducted for local sites influenced by the East Asian monsoon. In this study, SD models were constructed by selecting the best predictors and using generalized linear models (GLMs) for Feixian, a site in the Yishu River Basin and Shandong Province. By calculating and mapping Spearman rank correlation coefficients between the gridded standardized values of five large-scale variables and daily observed precipitation, different cyclonic circulation patterns were found for monsoonal precipitation in summer (June–September) and winter (November–December and January–March); the values of the gridded boxes with the highest absolute correlations for observed precipitation were selected as predictors. Data for predictors and predictands covered the period 1979–2015, and different calibration and validation periods were divided when fitting and validating the models. Meanwhile, the bootstrap method was also used to fit the GLM. All the above thorough validations indicated that the models were robust and not sensitive to different samples or different periods. Pearson’s correlations between downscaled and observed precipitation (logarithmically transformed) on a daily scale reached 0.54–0.57 in summer and 0.56–0.61 in winter, and the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency between downscaled and observed precipitation reached 0.1 in summer and 0.41 in winter. The downscaled precipitation partially reflected exact variations in winter and main trends in summer for total interannual precipitation. For the number of wet days, both winter and summer models were able to reflect interannual variations. Other comparisons were also made in this study. These results demonstrated that when downscaling, it is appropriate to combine a correlation-based predictor selection across a spatial domain with GLM modeling.