This paper evaluates the simulated Arctic land snow cover duration, snow water equivalent, snow cover fraction, surface albedo and land surface temperature in the regional climate model HIRHAM5 during 2008-2010, compared with various satellite and reanalysis data and one further regional climate model (COSMO-CLM). HIRHAM5 shows a general agreement in the spatial patterns and annual course of these variables, although distinct biases for specific regions and months are obvious. The most prominent biases occur for east Siberian deciduous forest albedo, which is overestimated in the simulation for snow covered conditions in spring. This may be caused by the simplified albedo parameterization (e.g. non-consideration of different forest types and neglecting the effect of fallen leaves and branches on snow for deciduous tree forest). The land surface temperature biases mirror the albedo biases in their spatial and temporal structures. The snow cover fraction and albedo biases can explain the simulated land surface temperature bias of ca. -3 °C over the Siberian forest area in spring.
EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut