Assessment of the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Model’s ability to predict mesoscale convective systems using object-based evaluation

AMS Citation:
Pinto, J., J. A. Grim, and M. Steiner, 2015: Assessment of the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Model’s ability to predict mesoscale convective systems using object-based evaluation. Weather and Forecasting, 30, 892-913, doi:10.1175/WAF-D-14-00118.1.
Date:2015-08-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Assessment of the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Model’s ability to predict mesoscale convective systems using object-based evaluation
Abstract: An object-based verification technique that keys off the radar-retrieved vertically integrated liquid (VIL) is used to evaluate how well the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) predicted mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) in 2012 and 2013. It is found that the modeled radar VIL values are roughly 50% lower than observed. This mean bias is accounted for by reducing the radar VIL threshold used to identify MCSs in the HRRR. This allows for a more fair evaluation of the model’s skill at predicting MCSs. Using an optimized VIL threshold for each summer, it is found that the HRRR reproduces the first (i.e., counts) and second moments (i.e., size distribution) of the observed MCS size distribution averaged over the eastern United States, as well as their aspect ratio, orientation, and diurnal variations. Despite threshold optimization, the HRRR tended to predict too many (few) MCSs at lead times less (greater) than 4 h because of lead time–dependent biases in the modeled radar VIL. The HRRR predicted too many MCSs over the Great Plains and too few MCSs over the southeastern United States during the day. These biases are related to the model’s tendency to initiate too many MCSs over the Great Plains and too few MCSs over the southeastern United States. Additional low biases found over the Mississippi River valley region at night revealed a tendency for the HRRR to dissipate MCSs too quickly. The skill of the HRRR at predicting specific MCS events increased between 2012 and 2013, coinciding with changes in both the model physics and in the methods used to assimilate the three-dimensional radar reflectivity.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2015 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or amspubs@ametsoc.org. Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7kd2043
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/WAF-D-14-00118.1
Author(s):
  • James Pinto - NCAR/UCAR
  • Joseph Grim - NCAR/UCAR
  • Matthias Steiner - NCAR/UCAR
  • Random Profile

    PROJ SCIENTIST II

    Recent & Upcoming Visitors