18th Conference on Weather and Forecasting, 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, and Ninth Conference on Mesoscale Processes

Monday, 30 July 2001
Event-based verification of mesoscale model wind forecasts using SSM/I
Jason E. Nachamkin, NRL, Monterey, CA
The Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) produces real-time weather forecasts for many areas around the globe. In this study, these forecasts are investigated for their ability to predict high and low wind events in the eastern Pacific and Mediterranean Sea regions. The SSM/I winds were interpolated to the COAMPS 27 and 81 km grids, and then compared to the predicted wind speeds.

Predicted and observed wind climatologies for the four-month period from November 2000 -January 2001 show consistent areas of high winds associated with high pressure off the California coast, and channeling between the Pyrenees and the Italian Occidental mountain ranges. The broad coverage offered by the SSM/I allows for the resolution of different areas of the grid that are more likely to produce correct wind forecasts in given situations. The ability of the model to forecast the mesoscale structure and timing of these and other events is judged through the speed climatologies, as well as several case studies. A series of statistics are also developed involving contingencies and threat scores at predetermined wind thresholds.

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