Characterizing and optimizing precipitation forecasts from a convection-permitting ensemble initialized by a mesoscale ensemble Kalman filter

Convection-permitting Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model forecasts with 3-km horizontal grid spacing were produced for a 50-member ensemble over a domain spanning three-quarters of the contiguous United States between 25 May and 25 June 2012. Initial conditions for the 3-km forecasts were provided by a continuously cycling ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) analysis–forecast system with 15-km horizontal grid length. The 3-km forecasts were evaluated using both probabilistic and deterministic techniques with a focus on hourly precipitation. All 3-km ensemble members overpredicted rainfall and there was insufficient forecast precipitation spread. However, the ensemble demonstrated skill at discriminating between both light and heavy rainfall events, as measured by the area under the relative operating characteristic curve. Subensembles composed of 20–30 members usually demonstrated comparable resolution, reliability, and skill as the full 50-member ensemble. On average, deterministic forecasts initialized from mean EnKF analyses were at least as or more skillful than forecasts initialized from individual ensemble members “closest” to the mean EnKF analyses, and “patched together” forecasts composed of members closest to the ensemble mean during each forecast interval were skillful but came with caveats. The collective results underscore the need to improve convection-permitting ensemble spread and have important implications for optimizing EnKF-initialized forecasts.

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Author Schwartz, Craig
Romine, Glen
Smith, Kathryn
Weisman, Morris
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2014-12-01T00:00:00
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Not Assigned
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Topic Category geoscientificInformation
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Metadata Date 2023-08-18T18:26:37.059518
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:14523
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Schwartz, Craig, Romine, Glen, Smith, Kathryn, Weisman, Morris. (2014). Characterizing and optimizing precipitation forecasts from a convection-permitting ensemble initialized by a mesoscale ensemble Kalman filter. UCAR/NCAR - Library. Accessed 15 June 2024.

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