Climate model downscaling is an important tool to provide useful climate information at spatial scales that are relevant to stakeholders. Almost all such downscaling is carried out using atmosphere models without a dynamic ocean. Here we present the NEMO-OASIS-WRF (NOW) ocean/atmosphere model, the first coupled regional model for the Australian region. Here we use a 1/4 degree configuration (ocean and atmosphere) to simulate future and present climate around Australia. In order to assess the biases of the model, different simulations over the reference period 1989-2009 are compared with observational datasets with a focus on extreme precipitation and temperatures.
In addition, we examine the sensitivity of the NOW model to mesoscale air-sea coupling i.e. we determine the added value in using regional coupled versus atmosphere-only downscaling. To achieve this we compare the fully coupled model with an atmosphere-only simulation forced by the SST taken from the fully-coupled simulation.