Assessment of Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts

Lynn E. Johnson NOAA/ERL/Forecast Systems Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, and University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, Colorado

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Billy G. Olsen Arkansas–Red Basin River Forecast Center, National Weather Service, Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Abstract

This paper reports on an assessment of quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) issued by the Arkansas–Red Basin River Forecast Center during the period May–June 1995. Assessment procedures involved spatial statistical procedures applied to the QPFs and Stage III calibrated radar-rainfall fields, and overlays of these. The QPF estimates were broad regional estimates that corresponded reasonably well to actual storm characteristics over the region. Over smaller areas on the order of 10% of the region (∼9000 mi2) the character of actual storms departs significantly from the QPF. Embedded storm cells having high intensity rainfall were not well predicted by the QPF. There was indication that QPF skill increased with rainfall magnitude.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Lynn E. Johnson, NOAA/ERL/FSL, R/E/FS6, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303.

Email: ljohnson@fsl.noaa.gov

Abstract

This paper reports on an assessment of quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) issued by the Arkansas–Red Basin River Forecast Center during the period May–June 1995. Assessment procedures involved spatial statistical procedures applied to the QPFs and Stage III calibrated radar-rainfall fields, and overlays of these. The QPF estimates were broad regional estimates that corresponded reasonably well to actual storm characteristics over the region. Over smaller areas on the order of 10% of the region (∼9000 mi2) the character of actual storms departs significantly from the QPF. Embedded storm cells having high intensity rainfall were not well predicted by the QPF. There was indication that QPF skill increased with rainfall magnitude.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Lynn E. Johnson, NOAA/ERL/FSL, R/E/FS6, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303.

Email: ljohnson@fsl.noaa.gov

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