The focus of Work Package 3 is convection-permitting regional climate models (CP-RCMs), which simulate atmospheric convection in greater detail than normal climate models. This is important because convection – the rising of warm air through the atmospheric column – often gives rise to thunderstorms and other severe weather events. Convection isn’t usually resolved in climate models due to the increased supercomputing power needed to run the models at the high resolutions required to properly simulate it. Instead, the process is approximated in the model, leading to added uncertainty in how convection patterns might change in the future. CP-RCMs run at high resolutions and properly resolve convection, and the improvement of computing resources is now making these models practical for predicting future climate.


This Work Package is providing a demonstration of the value of EUCP’s approach in forecasting extreme weather using very high-resolution models (CP-RCMs). A collection of eight state-of-the-art CP-RCMs developed by institutions across Europe has been put together by the EUCP team, and their value is demonstrated through:

  • The generation of a large portfolio of simulations of high impact weather events for a historical period (1980-2015) and a near future time period (1-40 years). The CP-RCMs are being run at 1.5-3 km resolution for continuous, multi-decadal simulations in two different settings: (i) the pan-Alpine region, and (ii) extreme events of different types throughout the pan-European region.
  • Developing and optimising the CP-RCMs for the simulation of high impact weather events using simulations of observed extreme events in the historical period, comparing the results with contemporary data. An in-depth evaluation of the models is being carried out using high-resolution observational datasets.
  • Simulating high impact weather events for the historical period and the near-term future and to assess changes in the characteristics and frequency of high impact events for the next decades.
  • Generating a portfolio of high impact weather events that can be used in other applications. The data is then being used to produce tailored hazard and risk information for targeted end users.

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