The Reliability and Skill of Air Force Weather's Ensemble Prediction Suites
Technical Report,01 May 2014,24 Mar 2016
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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The Ensemble Prediction Suites EPS used at the 557th Weather Wing 557 WW provide probability based forecasts for thousands of worldwide locations. Point Ensemble Probability PEP bulletins are tailored specifically to the United States military and its criteria for operationally significant weather. This study assesses the performance of PEPs from each EPS at17 Continental United States CONUS locations. Results from April to October of 2015 show that each EPS is under forecasting ceilings and visibility for most forecast hours at several locations. The under forecasting of ceilings is most severe at Vandenberg AFB, an area prone to frequent marine layer fog and stratus. The MEPS 4 km also shows significantly better lightning forecast skill compared to the other EPS grid scales. However, each EPS is susceptible to over forecasting lightning at night. Finally, in areas with complex terrain, wind forecasts are degraded with decreasing model resolution.