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Improving global rainfall forecasting with a weather type approach in Japan

Vuillaume, Jean-Francois, Herath, Srikantha
Hydrological sciences journal 2017 v.62 no.2 pp. 167-181
bias, data collection, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, prediction, rain, rain intensity, refining, sea level, weather forecasting, wind direction, Japan
An automated version of the weather type classification scheme was performed over Japan to characterize daily circulation conditions. A daily gridded field of mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis dataset (ERA-interim) and the THORPEX Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE) daily forecast dataset were used. The weather type is advantageous as it provides an opportunity to improve global rainfall prediction by refining statistical bias correction. We distinguished 11 weather types: anticyclone, cyclone, hybrid and eight purely wind directions. The results indicate that the main weather types contributing to the total volume of rainfall are cyclone, hybrid, purely westerly and northwest winds. A gamma-based bias correction decreases the global rainfall forecast root mean square by 10%, while specific weather type gamma bias correction accounts for 5–10% root mean square error reduction, with a total decrease of errors up to a maximum of 20%. Both global and weather type bias corrections improve the extreme dependency scores (EDS), but for different extreme rainfall thresholds. The study advocates the use of weather type bias-correction methods for extreme event rainfall intensity corrections higher than 100 mm/d.