Testing the performance of three nonlinear methods of time seriesanalysis for prediction and downscaling of European daily temperatures
We investigated the usability of the method of local linear models (LLM), multilayer perceptron neural network (MLP NN) and radial basis function neural network (RBF NN) for the construction of temporal and spatial transfer functions between different meteorological quantities, and compared the obtained results both mutually and to the results of multiple linear regression (MLR). The tested methods were applied for the short-term prediction of daily mean temperatures and for the downscaling of NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data, using series of daily mean, minimum and maximum temperatures from 25 European stations as predictands. None of the tested nonlinear methods was recognized to be distinctly superior to the others, but all nonlinear techniques proved to be better than linear regression in the majority of the cases. It is also discussed that the most frequently used nonlinear method, the MLP neural network, may not be the best choice for processing the climatic time series - LLM method or RBF NNs can offer a comparable or slightly better performance and they do not suffer from some of the practical disadvantages of MLPs. Aside from comparing the performance of different methods, we paid attention to geographical and seasonal variations of the results. The forecasting results showed that the nonlinear character of relations between climate variables is well apparent over most of Europe, in contrast to rather weak nonlinearity in the Mediterranean and North Africa. No clear large-scale geographical structure of nonlinearity was identified in the case of downscaling. Nonlinearity also seems to be noticeably stronger in winter than in summer in most locations, for both forecasting and downscaling.