Beyond the basics: Evaluating model-based precipitation forecasts using traditional, spatial, and object-based methods

AMS Citation:
Wolff, J. K., M. Harrold, T. L. Fowler, J. E. Halley Gotway, L. B. Nance, and B. G. Brown, 2014: Beyond the basics: Evaluating model-based precipitation forecasts using traditional, spatial, and object-based methods. Weather and Forecasting, 29, 1451-1472, doi:10.1175/WAF-D-13-00135.1.
Date:2014-12-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Beyond the basics: Evaluating model-based precipitation forecasts using traditional, spatial, and object-based methods
Abstract: While traditional verification methods are commonly used to assess numerical model quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) using a grid-to-grid approach, they generally offer little diagnostic information or reasoning behind the computed statistic. On the other hand, advanced spatial verification techniques, such as neighborhood and object-based methods, can provide more meaningful insight into differences between forecast and observed features in terms of skill with spatial scale, coverage area, displacement, orientation, and intensity. To demonstrate the utility of applying advanced verification techniques to mid- and coarse-resolution models, the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) applied several traditional metrics and spatial verification techniques to QPFs provided by the Global Forecast System (GFS) and operational North American Mesoscale Model (NAM). Along with frequency bias and Gilbert skill score (GSS) adjusted for bias, both the fractions skill score (FSS) and Method for Object-Based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) were utilized for this study with careful consideration given to how these methods were applied and how the results were interpreted. By illustrating the types of forecast attributes appropriate to assess with the spatial verification techniques, this paper provides examples of how to obtain advanced diagnostic information to help identify what aspects of the forecast are or are not performing well.
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d78w3f94
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/WAF-D-13-00135.1
Author(s):
  • Jamie Wolff - NCAR/UCAR
  • Michelle Harrold - NCAR/UCAR
  • Tressa Fowler - NCAR/UCAR
  • John Halley Gotway - NCAR/UCAR
  • Louisa Nance - NCAR/UCAR
  • Barbara Brown - NCAR/UCAR
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