5B.4 A Machine Learning Nowcasting Method based on Real-time Reanalysis Data

Monday, 28 August 2017: 11:15 AM
St. Gallen (Swissotel Chicago)
Lei Han, Ocean Univ. of China, Qingao, China; and J. Sun and W. Zhang

Despite marked progress over the past several decades, convective storm nowcasting remains a challenge because most nowcasting systems are based on linear extrapolation of radar reflectivity without much consideration for other meteorological fields. The variational Doppler radar analysis system (VDRAS) is an advanced convective-scale analysis system capable of providing analysis of 3-D wind, temperature, and humidity by assimilating Doppler radar observations. Although potentially useful, it is still an open question as to how to use these fields to improve nowcasting. In this study, we present results from our first attempt at developing a Support Vector Machine (SVM) Box-based nOWcasting (SBOW) method under the machine learning framework using VDRAS analysis data. The key design points of SBOW are as follows: 1) The study domain is divided into many position-fixed small boxes and the nowcasting problem is transformed into one question, i.e., will a radar echo > 35 dBZ appear in a box in 30 minutes? 2) Box-based temporal and spatial features, which include time trends and surrounding environmental information, are constructed; and 3) The box-based constructed features are used to first train the SVM classifier, and then the trained classifier is used to make predictions. Compared with complicated and expensive expert systems, the above design of SBOW allows the system to be small, compact, straightforward, and easy to maintain and expand at low cost. The experimental results show that, although no complicated tracking algorithm is used, SBOW can predict the storm movement trend and storm growth with reasonable skill.
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