Verification of quantitative precipitation reforecasts over the southeastern United States

Martin A. Baxter, Gary M. Lackmann, Kelly M. Mahoney, Thomas E. Workoff, Thomas M. Hamill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


NOAA's second-generation reforecasts are approximately consistent with the operational version of the 2012 NOAA Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS). The reforecasts allow verification to be performed across a multidecadal time period using a static model, in contrast to verifications performed using an everevolving operational modeling system. This contribution examines three commonly used verification metrics for reforecasts of precipitation over the southeastern United States: equitable threat score, bias, and ranked probability skill score. Analysis of the verification metrics highlights the variation in the ability of the GEFS to predict precipitation across amount, season, forecast lead time, and location. Beyond day 5.5, there is little useful skill in quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) or probabilistic QPFs. For lighter precipitation thresholds [e.g., 5 and 10mm(24 h)-1], use of the ensemble mean adds about 10% to the forecast skill over the deterministic control. QPFs have increased in accuracy from 1985 to 2013, likely due to improvements in observations. Results of this investigation are a first step toward using the reforecast database to distinguish weather regimes that the GEFS typically predicts well from those regimes that the GEFS typically predicts poorly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1207
Number of pages9
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


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