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Probabilistic Forecasting of (Severe) Thunderstorms in the Netherlands Using Model Output Statistics

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  • 1 Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, Netherlands
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Abstract

The derivation and verification of logistic regression equations for the (conditional) probability of (severe) thunderstorms in the warm half-year (from mid-April to mid-October) in the Netherlands is described. For 12 regions of about 90 km × 80 km each, and for projections out to 48 h in advance (with 6-h periods), these equations have been derived using model output statistics (MOS). As a source for the predictands, lightning data from the Surveillance et d’Alerte Foudre par Interférométrie Radioélectrique (SAFIR) network have been used. The potential predictor dataset mainly consisted of the combined (postprocessed) output from two numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. It contained 15 traditional thunderstorm indices, computed from the High-Resolution Limited-Area Model (HIRLAM), and (postprocessed) output from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model. The most important predictor in the thunderstorm forecast system is the square root of the ECMWF 6-h convective precipitation sum, and the most important predictor in the severe thunderstorm forecast system is the HIRLAM Boyden index. The success of the square root of the ECMWF 6-h convective precipitation sum as a thunderstorm predictor indicates that there is a strong relation between the forecast convective precipitation by the ECMWF model and the occurrence of thunderstorms, at least in the Netherlands up to 3 days in advance. The overall verification results for the 0000, 0600, 1200, and 1800 UTC runs of the MOS (severe) thunderstorm forecast system are good, and, therefore, the system was made operational at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in April 2004.

Corresponding author address: Dr. M. J. Schmeits, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, Netherlands. Email: schmeits@knmi.nl

Abstract

The derivation and verification of logistic regression equations for the (conditional) probability of (severe) thunderstorms in the warm half-year (from mid-April to mid-October) in the Netherlands is described. For 12 regions of about 90 km × 80 km each, and for projections out to 48 h in advance (with 6-h periods), these equations have been derived using model output statistics (MOS). As a source for the predictands, lightning data from the Surveillance et d’Alerte Foudre par Interférométrie Radioélectrique (SAFIR) network have been used. The potential predictor dataset mainly consisted of the combined (postprocessed) output from two numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. It contained 15 traditional thunderstorm indices, computed from the High-Resolution Limited-Area Model (HIRLAM), and (postprocessed) output from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model. The most important predictor in the thunderstorm forecast system is the square root of the ECMWF 6-h convective precipitation sum, and the most important predictor in the severe thunderstorm forecast system is the HIRLAM Boyden index. The success of the square root of the ECMWF 6-h convective precipitation sum as a thunderstorm predictor indicates that there is a strong relation between the forecast convective precipitation by the ECMWF model and the occurrence of thunderstorms, at least in the Netherlands up to 3 days in advance. The overall verification results for the 0000, 0600, 1200, and 1800 UTC runs of the MOS (severe) thunderstorm forecast system are good, and, therefore, the system was made operational at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in April 2004.

Corresponding author address: Dr. M. J. Schmeits, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, Netherlands. Email: schmeits@knmi.nl

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