Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Bias correction of maximum temperature forecasts over India during March–May 2017


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      In recent times, instances of intense heat waves have increased over the Indian subcontinent. This increase in temperature has an adverse effect on human health and the economy. Over India, such high temperatures are usually seen during the months of March–May (summer). For weather forecasters, it is a challenging job to accurately predict the timing and intensity of this anomalous high temperature. The difficulty in the accurate prediction of weather is increased because of the presence of systematic biases inthe models. These biases are present because of improper parameterizations or model physics. For increasing the reliability or accuracy of a forecast it is essential to remove these biases by using a process called post-processing. In this study the biases in the surface temperature maximum are corrected using two methods, namely, the moving average and the decaying average. One of the main advantages of both the methods is that they do not require a large amount of past data for calibration and they take into account the most recent behaviour of the forecasting system. Verification, for maximum surface temperature during March–May 2017, was carried out in order to decide upon the method giving the best temperature forecast. It was found that both the bias correction methods lead to a decrease in the mean error in maximum surface temperature ($T_{max}$). However, the decaying average method showed a higher decrease in the mean error. Scores obtained from a contingency table like POD, FAR and PSS, showed that for $T_{max}$, the decaying average method outperforms the forecasts, i.e., raw and moving average in terms of having high POD and PSS and a low FAR.

    • Unified model rainfall forecasts over India during 2007–2018: Evaluating extreme rains over hilly regions


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      Prediction of heavy/extreme rains is still a challenge, even for the most advanced state-of-the-art high-resolution Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) modelling systems. Hydrological models use the rainfall forecasts from the NWP models as input. This study evaluates the performance of the UK Met Office Unified Model (UM) in predicting the rainfall exceeding 80th and 90th percentiles. Such high rainfall amounts occur over the Western Ghats (WGs) and North East (NE) India mainly due to the forced ascent of air parcels. Apart from the significant upgrades in the UM's dynamical core, the model features an increased horizontal grid (40–10 km) and vertical resolution (50–70 levels). The prediction skill of heavy rainfall events improves with an increased horizontal resolution of the model. The probability of detection (POD), false alarm ratio (FAR), and critical success index (CSI) are the verification metrics used. As per these metrics, model rainfall forecasts have improved during 2007–2018 (increase in CSI from 0.29 to 0.38, POD from 0.45 to 0.55, and decrease in FAR from 0.55 to 0.45). Additionally, to verify extreme and rare events, the symmetric extremal dependence index (SEDI) is also used. SEDI also shows an increase from 0.47 to 0.62 and 0.16 to 0.41 over WGs and NE India during the study period, suggesting an improved skill of predicting heavy rains over the mountains. The improved forecast performance is consistent and relatively higher over WGs than over NE states.

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