Performance Comparison of High Resolution Weather Research and Forecasting Model Output with North American Mesoscale Model Initialization Grid Forecasts

Report No. ARL-TR-6000
Authors: John Raby, Jeff Passner, Gail Vaucher, and Yasmina Raby
Date/Pages: May 2012; 72 pages
Abstract: The Model Assessment Project used the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Model Evaluation Tools (MET) software to compute traditional error statistics which compared the performance of the high resolution Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with the North American Mesoscale (NAM) model. Gridded forecasts from these models were compared to weather observations from Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) mesonet observational data and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) PrepBUFR observational data. MET Point-Stat was used to generate statistics based on the point differences between model forecasts and the observations. The statistics were aggregated to produce overall summary statistics for nine surface and five upper air meteorological variables to characterize the performance over the 31-day study period. The WRF forecasts were generated by the Nowcast Modeling Project in support of a common research objective to compare the performance of the 1-km and 3-km resolution WRF to that of the model used to initialize the WRF, which is the 12-km resolution NAM model. These model runs were executed over two domains centered over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The statistical results are discussed with some tabular and graphical examples and conclusions are offered which describe the results of the comparison.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2012