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Convergence Index: a new performance measure for the temporal stability of operational rainfall forecasts

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In this study, a new performance measure is presented which evaluates to what extent a sequence of forecasts converges, with decreasing lead time, towards the observation without oscillation. Convergence and non-oscillation are important quality criteria when actions requiring time-consistency such as flood management or reservoir operation during floods have to be based on the forecasts. The underlying theory of the Convergence Index is presented as well its application during a seven-month series of three forecast models (COSMO-EU, NOAA GFS and Persistence) in the alpine catchment of the Iller, Germany. The expressiveness of the Convergence Index is critically evaluated and compared to a standard measure (Root Mean Square Error). In summary, the Convergence Index can, in combination with other measures that express forecast quality in absolute rather than relative terms, contribute to a more comprehensive evaluation of forecasts.

German
In dieser Studie wird ein neues Gütemaß vorgestellt, mit dem beurteilt werden kann, inwieweit eine Reihe von Vorhersagen mit abnehmender Vorhersagetiefe zum Messwert hin konvergiert ohne zu oszillieren. Konvergenz und Oszillation sind wichtige Qualitätskriterien, wenn auf Basis der Vorhersagereihen zeitlich konsistente Maßnahmen wie z.B. Hochwassermanagement oder Steuerung von Rückhaltebecken geplant werden müssen. Nach Darstellung der zugrundeliegenden Theorie wird der Konvergenzindex auf eine siebenmonatige Testreihe von drei Vorhersagemodellen (COSMO-EU, NOAA GFS und Persistenz) im alpinen Einzugsgebiet der Iller (Deutschland) angewandt. Die Aussagekraft des Konvergenzindex wird kritisch diskutiert und mit einem Standardgütemaß (mittlerer quadratischer Fehler) verglichen. Zusammengefasst kann der Konvergenzindex in Kombination mit anderen Gütemaßen, die die Vorhersagegüte absolut (d. h. nicht relativ) ausdrücken, zu einer umfassenderen Beurteilung von Vorhersagen beitragen.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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