Spatial Verification of Ensemble Precipitation: An Ensemble Version of SAL

Radanovics, Sabine ; Vidal, Jean-Philippe ; Sauquet, Eric

Année de publication
Spatial verification methods able to handle high-resolution ensemble forecasts and analysis ensembles are increasingly required because of the increasing development of such ensembles. An ensemble extension of the structure-amplitude-location (SAL) spatial verification method is proposed here. The ensemble SAL (eSAL) allows for verifying ensemble forecasts against a deterministic or ensemble analysis. The eSAL components are equal to those of SAL in the deterministic case, thus allowing the comparison of deterministic and ensemble forecasts. The Mesoscale Verification Intercomparison over Complex Terrain (MesoVICT) project provides a dataset containing deterministic and ensemble precipitation forecasts as well as a deterministic and ensemble analysis for case studies in summer 2007 over the greater Alpine region. These datasets allow for testing of the sensitivity of SAL and eSAL to analysis uncertainty and their suitability for the verification of ensemble forecasts. Their sensitivity with respect to the main parameter of this feature-based method-the threshold for defining precipitation features-is furthermore tested for both the deterministic and ensemble forecasts. Our results stress the importance of using meaningful thresholds in order to limit any unstable behavior of the threshold-dependent SAL components. The eSAL components are typically close to the median of the distribution of deterministic SAL components calculated for all combinations of ensemble members of the forecast and the analysis, with considerably less computational time. The eSAL ensemble extension of SAL can be considered as a relevant summary measure that leads to more easily interpretable SAL diagrams.
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