RAS-NAAD: 40-yr high-resolution North Atlantic atmospheric hindcast for multipurpose applications (new dataset for the regional mesoscale studies in the atmosphere and the ocean)
We present in this paper the results of the Russian Academy of Sciences North Atlantic Atmospheric Downscaling (RAS-NAAD) project, which provides a 40-yr 3D hindcast of the North Atlantic (10°–80°N) atmosphere at 14-km spatial resolution with 50 levels in the vertical direction (up to 50 hPa), performed with a regional setting of the WRF-ARW 3.8.1 model for the period 1979–2018 and forced by ERA-Interim as a lateral boundary condition. The dataset provides a variety of surface and free-atmosphere parameters at sigma model levels and meets many demands of meteorologists, climate scientists, and oceanographers working in both research and operational domains. Three-dimensional model output at 3-hourly time resolution is freely available to the users. Our evaluation demonstrates a realistic representation of most characteristics in both datasets and also identifies biases mostly in the ice-covered regions. High-resolution and non-hydrostatic model settings in NAAD resolve mesoscale dynamics first of all in the subpolar latitudes. NAAD also provides a new view of the North Atlantic extratropical cyclone activity with a much larger number of cyclones as compared with most reanalyses. It also effectively captures highly localized mechanisms of atmospheric moisture transports. Applications of NAAD to ocean circulation and wave modeling are demonstrated.