Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
03 Apr 2007
03 Apr 2007

Probabilistic forecast of daily areal precipitation focusing on extreme events

J. Bliefernicht and A. Bárdossy

Abstract. A dynamical downscaling scheme is usually used to provide a short range flood forecasting system with high-resolved precipitation fields. Unfortunately, a single forecast of this scheme has a high uncertainty concerning intensity and location especially during extreme events. Alternatively, statistical downscaling techniques like the analogue method can be used which can supply a probabilistic forecasts. However, the performance of the analogue method is affected by the similarity criterion, which is used to identify similar weather situations. To investigate this issue in this work, three different similarity measures are tested: the euclidean distance (1), the Pearson correlation (2) and a combination of both measures (3). The predictor variables are geopotential height at 1000 and 700 hPa-level and specific humidity fluxes at 700 hPa-level derived from the NCEP/NCAR-reanalysis project. The study is performed for three mesoscale catchments located in the Rhine basin in Germany. It is validated by a jackknife method for a period of 44 years (1958–2001). The ranked probability skill score, the Brier Skill score, the Heidke skill score and the confidence interval of the Cramer association coefficient are calculated to evaluate the system for extreme events. The results show that the combined similarity measure yields the best results in predicting extreme events. However, the confidence interval of the Cramer coefficient indicates that this improvement is only significant compared to the Pearson correlation but not for the euclidean distance. Furthermore, the performance of the presented forecasting system is very low during the summer and new predictors have to be tested to overcome this problem.