Articles | Volume 12, issue 8
Research article
21 Aug 2012
Research article |  | 21 Aug 2012

Hydro-meteorological evaluation of a convection-permitting ensemble prediction system for Mediterranean heavy precipitating events

B. Vié, G. Molinié, O. Nuissier, B. Vincendon, V. Ducrocq, F. Bouttier, and E. Richard

Abstract. An assessment of the performance of different convection-permitting ensemble prediction systems (EPSs) is performed, with a focus on Heavy Precipitating Events (HPEs). The convective-scale EPS configuration includes perturbations of lateral boundary conditions (LBCs) by using a global ensemble to provide LBCs, initial conditions (ICs) through an ensemble data assimilation technique and perturbations of microphysical parameterisations to account for part of model errors. A probabilistic evaluation is conducted over an 18-day period. A clear improvement is found when uncertainties on LBCs and ICs are considered together, but the chosen microphysical perturbations have no significant impact on probabilistic scores.

Innovative evaluation processes for three HPE case studies are implemented. First, maxima diagrams provide a multi-scale analysis of intense rainfall. Second, an hydrological evaluation is performed through the computation of discharge forecasts using hourly ensemble precipitation forecasts as an input. All ensembles behave similarly, but differences are found highlighting the impact of microphysical perturbations on HPEs forecasts, especially for cases involving complex small-scale processes.