Object-Based Analog Forecasts for Surface Wind Speed

Maria E. B. Frediani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

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Thomas M. Hopson National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Joshua P. Hacker National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Emmanouil N. Anagnostou Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

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Luca Delle Monache National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Francois Vandenberghe National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Abstract

Analogs are used as a forecast postprocessing technique, in which a statistical forecast is derived from past prognostic states. This study proposes a method to identify analogs through spatial objects, which are then used to create forecast ensembles. The object-analog technique preserves the field’s spatial relationships, reduces spatial dimensionality, and consequently facilitates the use of artificial intelligence algorithms to improve analog selection. Forecast objects are created with a three-step object selection, combining standard image processing algorithms. The resulting objects are used to find similar forecasts in a training set with a similarity measure based on object area intersection and magnitude. Storm-induced power outages in the Northeast United States motivated the method’s validation for 10-m AGL wind speed forecasts. The training set comprises reforecasts and reanalyses of events that caused damages to the utility infrastructure. The corresponding reanalyses of the best reforecast analogs are used to produce the object-analog ensemble forecasts. The forecasts are compared with other analog forecast methods. Analogs representing lower and upper predictability limits provide references to distinguish the method’s ability (to find good analogs) from the training set’s ability (to provide good analogs) to generate skillful ensemble forecasts. The object-analog forecasts are competitively skillful compared to simpler analog techniques with an advantage of lower spatial dimensionality, while generating reliable ensemble forecasts, with reduced systematic and random errors, maintaining correlation, and improving Brier scores.

NCAR Visiting Scientist, Boulder, Colorado.

Current affiliation: Jupiter Technology Systems, Boulder, Colorado.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Maria E. B. Frediani, maria.frediani@uconn.edu

Abstract

Analogs are used as a forecast postprocessing technique, in which a statistical forecast is derived from past prognostic states. This study proposes a method to identify analogs through spatial objects, which are then used to create forecast ensembles. The object-analog technique preserves the field’s spatial relationships, reduces spatial dimensionality, and consequently facilitates the use of artificial intelligence algorithms to improve analog selection. Forecast objects are created with a three-step object selection, combining standard image processing algorithms. The resulting objects are used to find similar forecasts in a training set with a similarity measure based on object area intersection and magnitude. Storm-induced power outages in the Northeast United States motivated the method’s validation for 10-m AGL wind speed forecasts. The training set comprises reforecasts and reanalyses of events that caused damages to the utility infrastructure. The corresponding reanalyses of the best reforecast analogs are used to produce the object-analog ensemble forecasts. The forecasts are compared with other analog forecast methods. Analogs representing lower and upper predictability limits provide references to distinguish the method’s ability (to find good analogs) from the training set’s ability (to provide good analogs) to generate skillful ensemble forecasts. The object-analog forecasts are competitively skillful compared to simpler analog techniques with an advantage of lower spatial dimensionality, while generating reliable ensemble forecasts, with reduced systematic and random errors, maintaining correlation, and improving Brier scores.

NCAR Visiting Scientist, Boulder, Colorado.

Current affiliation: Jupiter Technology Systems, Boulder, Colorado.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Maria E. B. Frediani, maria.frediani@uconn.edu
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