Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of



Date of this Version



Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017


Theor Appl Climatol (2018) 134:801–816


In climate modeling studies, there is a need to choose a suitable land surface model (LSM) while adhering to available resources. In this study, the viability of three LSM options (Community Land Model version 4.0 [CLM4.0], Noah-MP, and the five-layer thermal diffusion [Bucket] scheme) in the Weather Research and Forecasting model version 3.6 (WRF3.6) was examined for the warm season in a domain centered on the central USA. Model output was compared to Parameter-elevation Relationships on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data, a gridded observational dataset including mean monthly temperature and total monthly precipitation. Model output temperature, precipitation, latent heat (LH) flux, sensible heat (SH) flux, and soil water content (SWC) were compared to observations from sites in the Central and Southern Great Plains region. An overall warm bias was found in CLM4.0 and Noah-MP, with a cool bias of larger magnitude in the Bucket model. These three LSMs produced similar patterns of wet and dry biases. Model output of SWC and LH/SH fluxes were compared to observations, and did not show a consistent bias. Both sophisticated LSMs appear to be viable options for simulating the effects of land use change in the central USA.