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Predictability of convective precipitation for West Africa: verification of convection-permitting and global ensemble simulations [in press]

Maurer, Vera; Kalthoff, Norbert; Gantner, Leonhard



Abstract (englisch): Within the framework of this investigation, convection-permitting (CP) ensemble forecasts were generated for West Africa by combining different initial and lateral boundary conditions (IBCs) with perturbations that address the uncertainty of land-surface atmosphere interactions (land-surface perturbations). For a multi-analysis setup, IBCs were taken from model analyses of different global models; for a single-model setup, they were selected from the ensemble system of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The different ensemble setups were assessed using common probabilistic scores as well as by spatial forecast verification of precipitation generated mainly by convective systems during the West African monsoon season. Additionally, it was investigated whether the CP ensemble forecasts were superior to the ECMWF ensemble forecasts.Probabilistic scores were higher for the single-model ensemble than for the multi-analysis setup, but the latter displayed a larger dispersion and more extreme scenarios. From this, it is concluded that the different model analyses can differ strongly from each other. The land-surface perturbations were able to generate sufficient complementary spread. While the CP simulations showed a stronger negative precipitation bias in the southernmost region near the Guinean coast, the ECMWF simulations exhibited a negative bias further north in the Sahel region, where larger convective systems occur less frequently. Not in all cases did the CP ensemble versions produce better probabilistic scores than the global ensemble forecasts, but they yielded larger spread and less underdispersion. Rank histograms, though, were also influenced by the different structure of the precipitation patterns of the global and CP forecasts. Scores improved when using a later version of the CP model as well as with the skill of the global ensemble forecasts used as IBCs. Altogether, the proposed realization of CP ensemble forecasts is found to be suited for the prediction of convective precipitation in West Africa.


Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung - Forschungsbereich Troposphäre (IMK-TRO)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Jahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator DOI: 10.1127/metz/2016/0728
ISSN: 0941-2948, 1610-1227
KITopen ID: 1000059465
HGF-Programm 12.01.01; LK 01
Erschienen in Meteorologische Zeitschrift
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Schlagworte Sahel; COSMO model; ECMWF EPS; soil moisture; land-surface perturbations; soil-moisture ensemble
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