9A.2 Initial Results from the Evaluation of Convective Ensemble Sensitivity at the 2016 HWT Spring Forecast Experiment

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 10:45 AM
Conference Center: Tahoma 4 (Washington State Convention Center )
Brian C. Ancell, Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX; and B. Burghardt

Ensemble sensitivity analysis (ESA) is a statistical technique that uses information from an ensemble of forecasts to reveal relationships between chosen forecast metrics and the larger atmospheric state at various forecast times.  A number of studies have employed ESA from the perspectives of dynamical interpretation, observation targeting, and ensemble subsetting toward improved probabilistic prediction of high-impact events, mostly at synoptic scales.  We tested ESA using convective forecast metrics at the 2016 HWT Spring Forecast Experiment to understand the utility of convective ensemble sensitivity fields in improving forecasts of severe convection and its individual hazards.  The main purpose of this evaluation was to understand the temporal coherence and general characteristics of convective sensitivity fields toward future use in improving ensemble predictability within an operational framework. 

The magnitude and coverage of simulated reflectivity, updraft helicity, and surface wind speed were used as response functions, and the sensitivity of these functions to winds, temperatures, geopotential heights, and dew points at different atmospheric levels and at different forecast times were evaluated on a daily basis throughout the HWT Spring Forecast experiment.  These sensitivities were calculated within the Texas Tech real-time ensemble system, which possesses 42 members that run twice daily to 48-hr forecast time.  This presentation summarizes both the findings regarding the nature of the sensitivity fields and the evaluation of the participants that reflects their opinions of the utility of operational ESA.  The future direction of ESA for operational use will also be discussed.

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