The Reliability and Skill of Air Force Weather's Ensemble Prediction Suites
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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Deterministic weather models are limited by the fact that they depict one of many plausible forecasts of the atmosphere. Weather models will always be prone to error, especially since sparse observations make it impossible to represent the true initial state of the atmosphere. Ensemble weather models that represent multiple plausible forecasts are the next progression of numerical weather prediction and need further operational testing. Ensembles provide estimates of the probability of certain weather forecast outcomes, which are especially valuable to decision makers who apply risk management to operational decisions. The Ensemble Prediction Suite EPS used at the 557th Weather Wing 557 WW provides probability based forecasts for thousands of worldwide locations. These Point Ensemble Probability PEP bulletins are tailored specifically to the United States military and its criteria for operationally significant weather thresholds. During April to October 2013, a validation study by Clements was performed on the PEP bulletins from 557 WWs Global EPS, as well as the 20 km and 4 km resolution Mesoscale EPS across 10 geographically diverse locations. The study found that the PEP products over forecast lightning, while precipitation and wind forecasts improved with increased horizontal EPS resolution. Since then, significant changes have been made to how the EPSs generate products. This study assesses additional weather parameters and compares 557 WW global and mesoscale EPS at 17 Continental United States CONUS locations. The PEP bulletins will be compared to climatology, METARs, and Earth Networks Total Lightning Network ENTLN data to generate reliability diagrams and Brier Skill Scores BSS.
- Operations Research