“Jumpiness” of the ECMWF and Met Office EPS Control and Ensemble-Mean Forecasts

Zsoter, Ervin; Buizza, Roberto; Richardson, David
November 2009
Monthly Weather Review;Nov2009, Vol. 137 Issue 11, p3823
Academic Journal
This work investigates the inconsistency between forecasts issued at different times but valid for the same time, and shows that ensemble-mean forecasts are less inconsistent than corresponding control forecasts. The “jumpiness” index, the concepts of different forecast jumps—the “flip,” “flip-flop,” and “flip-flop-flip”—and the inconsistency correlation between time series of inconsistency indices are introduced to measure the consistency/inconsistency of consecutive forecasts. These new measures are used to compare the behavior of the ECMWF and the Met Office control and ensemble-mean forecasts for an 18-month period over Europe. Results indicate that for both the ECMWF and the Met Office ensembles, the ensemble-mean forecast is less inconsistent than the control forecast. However, they also indicate that the ensemble mean follows its corresponding control forecast more closely than the controls (or the ensemble means) of the two ensemble systems following each other, thus suggesting weaknesses in both ensemble systems in the simulation of forecast uncertainty due to model or analysis error. Results also show that there is only a weak link between forecast jumpiness and forecast error (i.e., forecasts with lower inconsistency do not necessarily have, on average, lower error).


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