Research > Metrics > Benchmarking Simulated Precipitation

Benchmarking Simulated Precipitation

Welcome to the results site for benchmarking simulated precipitation in Earth System Models (ESMs)! This effort has been inspired by the outcomes of a July 2019 DOE workshop (Pendergrass, et al., 2019). That workshop was motivated by discussions that have taken place in recent years in various working groups of the WCRP including the Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE) and Working Group on Coupled Models (WGCM). This site was initially made public 2020/10/10 and will be regularly updated as our efforts advance, so check back here soon to see progress.

PMP EOS article

Spatial Distribution of Mean State

Seasonal Cycle

Variability Across Timescales

(Sub-daily, Daily, Monthly, 3-Monthly, Yearly, and 3-Yearly)

- Standard deviation at differnt timescales

- Diurnal cycle - phase and amplitude

- Sub-daily intermittency

Intensity/Frequency Distribution

- Unevenness



Comming soon: Frequency of SPI spells and consecutive dry days.


Covey, C, PJ Gleckler, C Doutriaux, DN Williams, A Dai, J Fasullo, K Trenberth, and  A Berg. 2016. ”Metrics for the diurnal cycle of precipitation: Toward routine benchmarks for climate models.”  Journal of Climate 29(12): 4461–4471,

Covey, C, C Doutriaux, PJ Gleckler, KE Taylor, KE Trenberth, and Y Zhang. 2018. “High-frequency intermittency in observed and model-simulated precipitation.” Geophysical Research Letters 45(22),

Pendergrass, A.G. and D.L. Hartmann, 2014: Two modes of change of the distribution of rain. Journal of Climate, 27, 8357-8371. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00182.1.

Pendergrass, AG, and C Deser. 2017. “Climatological characteristics of typical daily precipitation.” Journal of Climate 30(15): 5985–6003,

Pendergrass, A. P. J. Gleckler, L. Ruby Leung, and C. Jakob, 2020: Benchmarking simulated precipitation in Earth System Models. BAMS, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0318.1.

Perkins, SE, AJ Pitman, NJ Holbrook, and J McAneney. 2007. “Evaluation of the AR4 Climate Models’ Simulated Daily Maximum Precipitation over Australia Using Probability Density Functions.” Journal of Climate 20(17): 4356–4376,

Tang, S., P. Gleckler, S. Xie, J. Lee, C. Covey, C. Zhang, and M. Ahn, 2020: Evaluating Diurnal and Semi-Diurnal Cycle of Precipitation in CMIP6 Models Using Satellite- and Ground-Based Observations. Submitted to J. Climate.

Trenberth, K. E., Zhang, Y., & Gehne, M. (2017). Intermittency in precipitation: Duration, frequency, intensity, and amounts using hourly data. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 18(5), 1393–1412.

Wehner, M., P Gleckler, J Lee, 2020: Characterization of long period return values of extreme daily temperature and precipitation in the CMIP6 models: Part 1, model evaluation. Weather and Climate Extremes, 100283,