Abstract

This paper introduces a new, two-part scheme for postprocessing single-valued precipitation forecast to create probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecast (PQPF). This scheme, herein referred to as the mixed-type nonhomogeneous regression (MNHR), combines the use of logistic regression for estimating rainfall intermittency and nonhomogeneous regression for estimation of additional parameters of the conditional distribution. The performance of MNHR is evaluated relative to operational mixed-type meta-Gaussian distribution (MMGD) and the censored, shifted gamma distribution (CSGD) in postprocessing Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) reforecasts averaged over 25 watersheds in the American River basin in California. The results point to superior performance of MNHR relative to MMGD and CSGD in terms of the skill of postprocessed PQPFs at 24- and 96-h accumulation windows. In addition, it is observed that the performance of CSGD tends to trail behind MNHR and MMGD at least for the 24-h window, though the performance differences tend to narrow at higher forecast amounts and longer lead times. Our analyses suggest that CSGD’s underperformance arises partly from its tendency to inflate the shift parameter estimates, which is pronounced over the study site possibly because of infrequent rainfall occurrence. By contrast, MNHR’s use of logistic regression helps avoid such bias, and its formulation of conditional distribution addresses the lack of skewness of MMGD for higher forecast amounts. Moreover, MHNR-based PQPF exhibits both superior calibration and relatively high sharpness at short lead times and on an unconditional sense, whereas it features lower sharpness relative to the other two suites when conditioned on higher forecast amount. This trade-off between calibration and conditional sharpness warrants further research.

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