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Daily precipitation forecast of ECMWF verified over Iran

Abstract

In this paper, the performance of the Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) model (t + 27 h to t + 51 h) in predicting precipitation is discussed. This model is the first, which has been verified over Iran. The spatial resolution of the model is 0.351° and the 24-h forecasts are compared with daily observations. The study concentrates on year 2001 and the precipitation measurements were collected from the data of 2,048 rain gauges in Iran. The accuracy of four different interpolation methods (nearest neighborhood, inverse distance, kriging, and upscaling) was investigated. Using cross-validation, the inverse distance method (IDM) with minimum mean error was applied. Verification results are given in terms of difference fields (mean error = 0.46 mm/day), rank–order correlation coefficients (0.70), as well as accuracy scores (false alarm ratio = 0.50 and probability of detection = 0.60) and skill scores (true skill statistics [TSS] = 0.45) in year 2001. The position of the rain band was only partly captured by the ECMWF model; however, the position of maximum precipitations agrees with the observations well. The results show that the high values of TSS are associated with the large amounts of precipitation (over 25 mm). Slight to moderate precipitation events have been underforecasted by the model (bias < 1) and it leads to a small value of TSS for these thresholds (5–25 mm/day). The ECMWF model has better performance in high and mountainous regions than over flat terrain and in deserts. Comparing TSS over the Alborz and the Zagros Mountains, it is obvious that the ability of the model to predict the convective precipitation events needs some improvement. The amount of daily precipitation has been also slightly overestimated over Iran. From the beginning of January up to 21 March 2001, the ECMWF time series indicates an obvious phase shift of 1 day, although in other months, no phase shift is noticed.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization and the Meteorological Department of the Free University of Berlin. The data used in this study have been provided by the European Centre for Medium range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) and the Iran Meteorological Organization (IRIMO).

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Correspondence to Sahar Sodoudi.

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Sodoudi, S., Noorian, A., Geb, M. et al. Daily precipitation forecast of ECMWF verified over Iran. Theor Appl Climatol 99, 39–51 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-009-0118-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-009-0118-9

Keywords

  • Root Mean Square Error
  • Kriging
  • Precipitation Amount
  • Skill Score
  • Mean Absolute Error