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Title: On the Effect of Correlations on Rank Histograms: Reliability of Temperature and Wind Speed Forecasts from Finescale Ensemble Reforecasts

Abstract

The rank histogram (RH) is a visual tool for assessing the reliability of ensemble forecasts (i.e., the degree to which the forecasts and the observations have the same distribution). But it is already known that in certain situations it conveys misleading information. Here, it is shown that a temporal correlation can lead to a misleading RH, but such a correlation contributes only to the sampling variability of the RH, and so it is accounted for by producing a RH that explicitly displays sampling variability. A simulation is employed to show that the variance within each ensemble member (i.e., climatological variance), the correlation between ensemble members, and the correlation between the observations and the forecasts, all have a confounding effect on the RH, making it difficult to use the RH for assessing the climatological component of forecast reliability. It is proposed that a “residual” quantile–quantile plot (denoted R-Q-Q plot) is better suited than the RH for assessing the climatological component of forecast reliability. Then, the RH and R-Q-Q plots for temperature and wind speed forecasts at 90 stations across the continental United States are computed. A wide range of forecast reliability is noted. For some stations, the nonreliability of the forecastsmore » can be attributed to bias and/or under-or overclimatological dispersion. For others, the difference between the distributions can be traced to lighter or heavier tails in the distributions, while for other stations the distributions of the forecasts and the observations appear to be completely different. A spatial signature is also noted and discussed briefly.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Statistics, and Applied Physics Laboratory
  2. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Statistics
  3. Atmospheric Technology Services Company, Norman, OK (United States)
  4. Duke Energy Corporation, Charlotte, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1564799
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Monthly Weather Review
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 139; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-0644
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Citation Formats

Marzban, Caren, Wang, Ranran, Kong, Fanyou, and Leyton, Stephen. On the Effect of Correlations on Rank Histograms: Reliability of Temperature and Wind Speed Forecasts from Finescale Ensemble Reforecasts. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1175/2010mwr3129.1.
Marzban, Caren, Wang, Ranran, Kong, Fanyou, & Leyton, Stephen. On the Effect of Correlations on Rank Histograms: Reliability of Temperature and Wind Speed Forecasts from Finescale Ensemble Reforecasts. United States. doi:10.1175/2010mwr3129.1.
Marzban, Caren, Wang, Ranran, Kong, Fanyou, and Leyton, Stephen. Sat . "On the Effect of Correlations on Rank Histograms: Reliability of Temperature and Wind Speed Forecasts from Finescale Ensemble Reforecasts". United States. doi:10.1175/2010mwr3129.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1564799.
@article{osti_1564799,
title = {On the Effect of Correlations on Rank Histograms: Reliability of Temperature and Wind Speed Forecasts from Finescale Ensemble Reforecasts},
author = {Marzban, Caren and Wang, Ranran and Kong, Fanyou and Leyton, Stephen},
abstractNote = {The rank histogram (RH) is a visual tool for assessing the reliability of ensemble forecasts (i.e., the degree to which the forecasts and the observations have the same distribution). But it is already known that in certain situations it conveys misleading information. Here, it is shown that a temporal correlation can lead to a misleading RH, but such a correlation contributes only to the sampling variability of the RH, and so it is accounted for by producing a RH that explicitly displays sampling variability. A simulation is employed to show that the variance within each ensemble member (i.e., climatological variance), the correlation between ensemble members, and the correlation between the observations and the forecasts, all have a confounding effect on the RH, making it difficult to use the RH for assessing the climatological component of forecast reliability. It is proposed that a “residual” quantile–quantile plot (denoted R-Q-Q plot) is better suited than the RH for assessing the climatological component of forecast reliability. Then, the RH and R-Q-Q plots for temperature and wind speed forecasts at 90 stations across the continental United States are computed. A wide range of forecast reliability is noted. For some stations, the nonreliability of the forecasts can be attributed to bias and/or under-or overclimatological dispersion. For others, the difference between the distributions can be traced to lighter or heavier tails in the distributions, while for other stations the distributions of the forecasts and the observations appear to be completely different. A spatial signature is also noted and discussed briefly.},
doi = {10.1175/2010mwr3129.1},
journal = {Monthly Weather Review},
number = 1,
volume = 139,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {1}
}

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