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Wentao Li, Quan J. Wang, and Qingyun Duan


Statistical postprocessing methods can be used to correct bias and dispersion error in raw ensemble forecasts from numerical weather prediction models. Existing postprocessing models generally perform well when they are assessed on all events, but their performance for extreme events still needs to be investigated. Commonly used joint probability postprocessing models are based on the correlation between forecasts and observations. Because the correlation may be lower for extreme events as a result of larger forecast uncertainty, the dependence between forecasts and observations can be asymmetric with respect to the magnitude of the precipitation. However, the constant correlation coefficient in the traditional joint probability model lacks the flexibility to model asymmetric dependence. In this study, we formulated a new postprocessing model with a decreasing correlation coefficient to characterize asymmetric dependence. We carried out experiments using Global Ensemble Forecast System reforecasts for daily precipitation in the Huai River basin in China. The results show that, although it performs well in terms of continuous ranked probability score or reliability for all events, the traditional joint probability model suffers from overestimation for extreme events defined by the largest 2.5% or 5% of raw forecasts. On the contrary, the proposed variable-correlation model is able to alleviate the overestimation and achieves better reliability for extreme events than the traditional model. The proposed variable-correlation model can be seen as a flexible extension of the traditional joint probability model to improve the performance for extreme events.

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