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A regional ensemble forecast system for stratiform precipitation events in northern China. Part I: A case study

Abstract

A single-model, short-range, ensemble forecasting system (Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Regional Ensemble Forecast System, IAP REFS) with 15-km grid spacing, configured with multiple initial conditions, multiple lateral boundary conditions, and multiple physics parameterizations with 11 ensemble members, was developed using the Weather and Research Forecasting Model Advanced Research modeling system for prediction of stratiform precipitation events in northern China. This is the first part of a broader research project to develop a novel cloud-seeding operational system in a probabilistic framework. The ensemble perturbations were extracted from selected members of the National Center for Environmental Prediction Global Ensemble Forecasting System (NCEP GEFS) forecasts, and an inflation factor of two was applied to compensate for the lack of spread in the GEFS forecasts over the research region. Experiments on an actual stratiform precipitation case that occurred on 5–7 June 2009 in northern China were conducted to validate the ensemble system. The IAP REFS system had reasonably good performance in predicting the observed stratiform precipitation system. The perturbation inflation enlarged the ensemble spread and alleviated the underdispersion caused by parent forecasts. Centering the extracted perturbations on higher-resolution NCEP Global Forecast System forecasts resulted in less ensemble mean root-mean-square error and better accuracy in probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecasts (PQPF). However, the perturbation inflation and recentering had less effect on near-surface-level variables compared to the mid-level variables, and its influence on PQPF resolution was limited as well.

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Correspondence to Jiangshan Zhu.

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Zhu, J., Kong, F. & Lei, H. A regional ensemble forecast system for stratiform precipitation events in northern China. Part I: A case study. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 29, 201–216 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-011-0137-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-011-0137-1

Key words

  • short-range ensemble forecast
  • rain enhancement operation
  • probabilistic forecast