Postprocessing ensemble forecasts of vertical temperature profiles

Schoenach, David; Simon, Thorsten; Mayr, Georg Johann

Weather forecasts from ensemble prediction systems (EPS) are improved by statistical models trained on past EPS forecasts and their atmospheric observations. Recently these corrections have moved from being univariate to multivariate. The focus has been on (quasi-)horizontal atmospheric variables. This paper extends the correction methods to EPS forecasts of vertical profiles in two steps. First univariate distributional regression methods correct the probability distributions separately at each vertical level. In the second step copula coupling re-installs the dependence among neighboring levels by using the rank order structure of the EPS forecasts. The method is applied to EPS data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) at model levels interpolated to four locations in Germany, from which radiosondes are released to measure profiles of temperature and other variables four times a day. A winter case study and a summer case study, respectively, exemplify that univariate postprocessing fails to preserve stable layers, which are crucial for many atmospheric processes. Quantile resampling and a resampling that preserves the relative distance between individual EPS members improve the calibration of the raw forecasts of the temperature profiles as shown by rank histograms. They also improve the multivariate metrics of energy score and variogram score and retain the stable layers. Improvements take place over all times of the day and all seasons. They are largest within the atmospheric boundary layer and for shorter lead times.

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Schoenach, David / Simon, Thorsten / Mayr, Georg Johann: Postprocessing ensemble forecasts of vertical temperature profiles. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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