1177 Validation and Intercomparison of Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts from the NCAR High-Resolution (3-km) Ensemble and NCEP and ESRL Operational Models Over the Western US

Wednesday, 25 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Thomas Michael Gowan, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and W. J. Steenburgh

Handout (6.1 MB)

High-resolution ensemble modeling systems are required to capture the large spatial variability and quantify the inherent uncertainty of precipitation forecasts in areas of complex terrain, however, such systems remain largely untested at cloud-permitting grid spacings (i.e., 4-km or less) over the western U.S. In this study, we assess the capabilities of quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF) produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) high-resolution (3-km horizontal grid spacing), 10-member ensemble forecast system using observations collected by Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) stations at mountain locations across the western U.S.  Emphasis is placed on identifying the capabilities of the control member (and hence individual members) in capturing the characteristics of precipitation events at these locations, as well as the reliability and resolution of probabilistic forecasts derived from the ensembles.  Through intercomparison with forecasts produced by operational models run by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), we highlight the usefulness and potential of a cloud-permitting ensemble over the western U.S.
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