The diurnal cycle of precipitation from continental radar mosaics and numerical weather prediction models. Part II: intercomparison among numerical models and with nowcasting
PublisherAmerican Meteorological Society
Rights accessOpen Access
This second part of a two-paper series compares deterministic precipitation forecasts from the Storm-Scale Ensemble Forecast System (4-km grid) run during the 2008 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Spring Experiment, and from the Canadian Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) model (15 km), in terms of their ability to reproduce the average diurnal cycle of precipitation during spring 2008. Moreover, radar-based nowcasts generated with the McGill Algorithm for Precipitation Nowcasting Using Semi-Lagrangian Extrapolation (MAPLE) are analyzed to quantify the portion of the diurnal cycle explained by the motion of precipitation systems, and to evaluate the potential of the NWP models for very short-term forecasting. The observed diurnal cycle of precipitation during spring 2008 is characterized by the dominance of the 24-h harmonic,which shifts with longitude, consistent with precipitation traveling across the continent. Time–longitude diagrams show that the analyzed NWP models partially reproduce this signal, but show more variability in the timing of initiation in the zonal motion of the precipitation systems than observed from radar. Traditional skill scores show that the radar data assimilation is the main reason for differences in model performance, while the analyzed models that do not assimilate radar observations have very similar skill. The analysis of MAPLE forecasts confirms that the motion of precipitation systems is responsible for the dominance of the 24-h harmonic in the longitudinal range 1038–858W, where 8-h MAPLE forecasts initialized at 0100, 0900, and 1700UTC successfully reproduce the eastward motion of rainfall systems. Also, on average, MAPLE outperforms radar data assimilating models for the 3–4 h after initialization, and nonradar data assimilating models for up to 5 h after initialization.
CitationBerenguer, M. [et al.]. The diurnal cycle of precipitation from continental radar mosaics and numerical weather prediction models. Part II: intercomparison among numerical models and with nowcasting. "Monthly Weather Review", Agost 2012, vol. 140, núm. 8, p. 2689-2705.