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A comparative verification of high resolution precipitation forecasts using model output statistics

Plas, Schmeits, Hooijman, Kok

Verification of localized events such as precipitation has become even more challenging with the advent of high-resolution mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP). The realism of a forecast suggests that it should compare well against precipitation radar imagery with similar resolution, both spatially and temporally. Spatial verification methods solve some of the representativity issues that point verification gives rise to. In this paper, a verification strategy based on model output statistics (MOS) is applied that aims to address
both double-penalty and resolution effects that are inherent to comparisons of NWP models with different resolutions. Using predictors based on spatial precipitation patterns around a set of stations, an extended logistic regression (ELR) equation is deduced, leading to a probability forecast distribution of precipitation
for each NWP model, analysis, and lead time. The ELR equations are derived for predictands based on arealcalibrated radar precipitation and SYNOP observations. The aim is to extract maximum information from a series of precipitation forecasts, like a trained forecaster would. The method is applied to the nonhydrostatic model Harmonie-AROME (2.5-km resolution), HIRLAM (11-km resolution), and the ECMWF model (16-km resolution), overall yielding similar Brier skill scores for the three postprocessed models, but somewhat larger differences for individual lead times. In addition, the fractions skill score is computed using the three deterministic forecasts, showing slightly higher skill for the Harmonie-AROME model. In other words, despite the realism of Harmonie-AROME precipitation forecasts, they only perform similarly or somewhat better than precipitation forecasts from the two lower-resolution models, at least in the Netherlands.

Bibliografische gegevens

Plas, Schmeits, Hooijman, Kok. A comparative verification of high resolution precipitation forecasts using model output statistics
Status: published, Journal: Mon. Wea. Rev., Volume: 145, Year: 2017, First page: 4037, Last page: 4054, doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-16-0256.1

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