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Jung-Hoon Kim, Robert Sharman, Matt Strahan, Joshua W. Scheck, Claire Bartholomew, Jacob C. H. Cheung, Piers Buchanan, and Nigel Gait

Abstract

For the next generation of the World Area Forecast System (WAFS), the global Graphical Turbulence Guidance (G-GTG) has been developed using global numerical weather prediction (NWP) model outputs as an input to compute a set of turbulence diagnostics, identifying strong spatial gradients of meteorological variables associated with clear-air turbulence (CAT) and mountain-wave turbulence (MWT). The G-GTG provides an atmospheric turbulence intensity metric of energy dissipation rate (EDR) to the 1/3 power (m2/3 s–1), which is the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard for aircraft reporting. Deterministic CAT and MWT EDR forecasts are derived from ensembles of calibrated multiple CAT and MWT diagnostics, respectively, with the final forecast provided by the gridpoint-by-gridpoint maximum of the CAT and MWT ensemble means. In addition, a probabilistic EDR forecast is produced by the percentage agreement of the individual CAT and MWT diagnostics that exceed a certain EDR threshold for turbulence (i.e., multidiagnostic ensemble). Objective evaluations of the G-GTG against global in situ EDR measurement data show that both deterministic and probabilistic G-GTG significantly improve the current WAFS CAT product, mainly because the G-GTG takes into account turbulence from various sources related to CAT and MWT. The probabilistic G-GTG forecast is more reliable at predicting light-or-greater (EDR > 0.15)- than moderate-or-greater (EDR > 0.22)-level turbulence, although it suffers from overforecasting. This will be improved in the future when we use this methodology with NWP ensembles and more observation data will be available for calibration. We expect that the new G-GTG forecasts will be beneficial to aviation users globally.

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Richard Swinbank, Masayuki Kyouda, Piers Buchanan, Lizzie Froude, Thomas M. Hamill, Tim D. Hewson, Julia H. Keller, Mio Matsueda, John Methven, Florian Pappenberger, Michael Scheuerer, Helen A. Titley, Laurence Wilson, and Munehiko Yamaguchi

Abstract

The International Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE) was a major component of The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) research program, whose aim is to accelerate improvements in forecasting high-impact weather. By providing ensemble prediction data from leading operational forecast centers, TIGGE has enhanced collaboration between the research and operational meteorological communities and enabled research studies on a wide range of topics.

The paper covers the objective evaluation of the TIGGE data. For a range of forecast parameters, it is shown to be beneficial to combine ensembles from several data providers in a multimodel grand ensemble. Alternative methods to correct systematic errors, including the use of reforecast data, are also discussed.

TIGGE data have been used for a range of research studies on predictability and dynamical processes. Tropical cyclones are the most destructive weather systems in the world and are a focus of multimodel ensemble research. Their extratropical transition also has a major impact on the skill of midlatitude forecasts. We also review how TIGGE has added to our understanding of the dynamics of extratropical cyclones and storm tracks.

Although TIGGE is a research project, it has proved invaluable for the development of products for future operational forecasting. Examples include the forecasting of tropical cyclone tracks, heavy rainfall, strong winds, and flood prediction through coupling hydrological models to ensembles.

Finally, the paper considers the legacy of TIGGE. We discuss the priorities and key issues in predictability and ensemble forecasting, including the new opportunities of convective-scale ensembles, links with ensemble data assimilation methods, and extension of the range of useful forecast skill.

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