Hydrologic Solutions Ltd

Southampton, United Kingdom

Hydrologic Solutions Ltd

Southampton, United Kingdom

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Verkade J.S.,Deltares | Verkade J.S.,Technical University of Delft | Brown J.D.,Hydrologic Solutions Ltd | Reggiani P.,Deltares | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

The ECMWF temperature and precipitation ensemble reforecasts are evaluated for biases in the mean, spread and forecast probabilities, and how these biases propagate to streamflow ensemble forecasts. The forcing ensembles are subsequently post-processed to reduce bias and increase skill, and to investigate whether this leads to improved streamflow ensemble forecasts. Multiple post-processing techniques are used: quantile-to-quantile transform, linear regression with an assumption of bivariate normality and logistic regression. Both the raw and post-processed ensembles are run through a hydrologic model of the river Rhine to create streamflow ensembles. The results are compared using multiple verification metrics and skill scores: relative mean error, Brier skill score and its decompositions, mean continuous ranked probability skill score and its decomposition, and the ROC score. Verification of the streamflow ensembles is performed at multiple spatial scales: relatively small headwater basins, large tributaries and the Rhine outlet at Lobith. The streamflow ensembles are verified against simulated streamflow, in order to isolate the effects of biases in the forcing ensembles and any improvements therein. The results indicate that the forcing ensembles contain significant biases, and that these cascade to the streamflow ensembles. Some of the bias in the forcing ensembles is unconditional in nature; this was resolved by a simple quantile-to-quantile transform. Improvements in conditional bias and skill of the forcing ensembles vary with forecast lead time, amount, and spatial scale, but are generally moderate. The translation to streamflow forecast skill is further muted, and several explanations are considered, including limitations in the modelling of the space-time covariability of the forcing ensembles and the presence of storages. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Demargne J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Wu L.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Wu L.,Oak Technologies | Regonda S.K.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 12 more authors.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | Year: 2014

As no forecast is complete without a description of its uncertainty (National Research Council of the National Academies 2006), it is necessary, for both atmospheric and hydrologic predictions, to quantify and propagate uncertainty from various sources in the forecasting system. For informed riskbased decision making, such integrated uncertainty information needs to be communicated to forecasters and users effectively. In an operational environment, ensembles are an effective means of producing uncertainty- quantified forecasts. Ensemble forecasts can be ingested in a user's downstream application (e.g., reservoir management decision support system) and used to derive probability statements about the likelihood of specific future events (e.g., probability of exceeding a flood threshold). Atmospheric ensemble forecasts have been routinely produced by operational Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) centers for two decades. Hydrologic ensemble forecasts for long ranges have been initially based on historical observations of precipitation and temperature as plausible future inputs (e.g., Day 1985) in an attempt to account for the uncertainty at the climate time scales. Ensemble forecasts generated in this fashion were considered viable beyond 30 days where the climatic uncertainty would dominate other uncertainty sources. More recently, as the needs for risk-based management of water resources and hazards across weather and climate scales have increased, the research and operational communities have been actively working on integration of the NWP ensembles into hydrologic ensemble prediction systems and quantification of all major sources of uncertainty in such systems. In particular, the Hydrological Ensemble Prediction Experiment (HEPEX; www.hepex.org/), launched in 2004, has facilitated communications and collaborations among the atmospheric community, the hydrologic community, and the forecast users toward improving ensemble forecasts and demonstrating their utility in decision making in water management (Schaake et al. 2007b; Thielen et al. 2008; Schaake et al. 2010).


Regonda S.K.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Regonda S.K.,Riverside Technologies Inc. | Seo D.-J.,University of Texas at Arlington | Lawrence B.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Brown J.D.,Hydrologic Solutions Ltd
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

We present a statistical procedure for generating short-term ensemble streamflow forecasts from single-valued, or deterministic, streamflow forecasts produced operationally by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) River Forecast Centers (RFCs). The resulting ensemble streamflow forecast provides an estimate of the predictive uncertainty associated with the single-valued forecast to support risk-based decision making by the forecasters and by the users of the forecast products, such as emergency managers. Forced by single-valued quantitative precipitation and temperature forecasts (QPF, QTF), the single-valued streamflow forecasts are produced at a 6-h time step nominally out to 5. days into the future. The single-valued streamflow forecasts reflect various run-time modifications, or "manual data assimilation", applied by the human forecasters in an attempt to reduce error from various sources in the end-to-end forecast process. The proposed procedure generates ensemble traces of streamflow from a parsimonious approximation of the conditional multivariate probability distribution of future streamflow given the single-valued streamflow forecast, QPF, and the most recent streamflow observation. For parameter estimation and evaluation, we used a multiyear archive of the single-valued river stage forecast produced operationally by the NWS Arkansas-Red River Basin River Forecast Center (ABRFC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a by-product of parameter estimation, the procedure provides a categorical assessment of the effective lead time of the operational hydrologic forecasts for different QPF and forecast flow conditions. To evaluate the procedure, we carried out hindcasting experiments in dependent and cross-validation modes. The results indicate that the short-term streamflow ensemble hindcasts generated from the procedure are generally reliable within the effective lead time of the single-valued forecasts and well capture the skill of the single-valued forecasts. For smaller basins, however, the effective lead time is significantly reduced by short basin memory and reduced skill in the single-valued QPF. © 2013 Elsevier B.V..


Brown J.D.,Hydrologic Solutions Ltd | He M.,Riverside Technologies Inc. | He M.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Regonda S.,Riverside Technologies Inc. | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2014

Retrospective forecasts of precipitation, temperature, and streamflow were generated with the Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service (HEFS) of the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) for a 20-year period between 1979 and 1999. The hindcasts were produced for two basins in each of four River Forecast Centers (RFCs), namely the Arkansas-Red Basin RFC, the Colorado Basin RFC, the California-Nevada RFC and the Middle Atlantic RFC. In a companion paper, temperature and precipitation hindcasts were produced with the Meteorological Ensemble Forecast Processor (MEFP) and verified against observed temperature and precipitation, respectively. Inputs to the MEFP comprised raw precipitation and temperature forecasts from the frozen (circa 1997) version of the NWS Global Forecast System (MEFP-GFS) and a conditional or "resampled" climatology (MEFP-CLIM). For this paper, streamflow hindcasts were produced with the Community Hydrologic Prediction System and were bias-corrected with the Ensemble Post-processor (EnsPost). In order to separate the meteorological and hydrologic uncertainties, the raw streamflow forecasts were verified against simulated streamflows, as well as observed flows. Also, when verifying the bias-corrected streamflow forecasts, the total skill was decomposed into contributions from the MEFP-GFS and the EnsPost. In general, the streamflow forecasts are substantially more skillful when using the MEFP-GFS together with the EnsPost than using the MEFP with resampled climatology alone. However, both the raw and bias-corrected streamflow forecasts have lower biases, stronger correlations and are more skillful in CB- and CN-RFCs than AB- and MA-RFCs. In addition, there are strong variations in forecast quality with streamflow amount, forecast lead time, season and aggregation period. The relative importance of the meteorological and hydrologic uncertainties also varies between basins and is modulated by the same controls on forecast quality. For example, the MEFP-GFS accounts for the majority of skill in the CNRFC basins. This is associated with the greater predictability of large storms in the North Coast Ranges during the winter months. In CBRFC, much of the skill in the streamflow forecasts originates from the hydrologic modeling and the EnsPost, particularly during the snowmelt period. In AB- and MA-RFCs, the contributions from the MEFP and the EnsPost are more variable. This paper summarizes the verification results, describes the expected performance and limitations of the HEFS for short- to medium-range streamflow forecasting, and provides recommendations for future research. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Brown J.D.,Hydrologic Solutions Ltd | Wu L.,Oak Technologies | Wu L.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | He M.,Riverside Technologies Inc. | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2014

Retrospective forecasts of precipitation, temperature, and streamflow were generated with the Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service (HEFS) of the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) for a 20-year period between 1979 and 1999. The hindcasts were produced for two basins in each of four River Forecast Centers (RFCs), namely the Arkansas-Red Basin RFC, the Colorado Basin RFC, the California-Nevada RFC, and the Middle Atlantic RFC. Precipitation and temperature forecasts were produced with the HEFS Meteorological Ensemble Forecast Processor (MEFP). Inputs to the MEFP comprised "raw" precipitation and temperature forecasts from the frozen (circa 1997) version of the NWS Global Forecast System (GFS) and a climatological ensemble, which involved resampling historical observations in a moving window around the forecast valid date ("resampled climatology"). In both cases, the forecast horizon was 1-14. days. This paper outlines the hindcasting and verification strategy, and then focuses on the quality of the temperature and precipitation forecasts from the MEFP. A companion paper focuses on the quality of the streamflow forecasts from the HEFS. In general, the precipitation forecasts are more skillful than resampled climatology during the first week, but comprise little or no skill during the second week. In contrast, the temperature forecasts improve upon resampled climatology at all forecast lead times. However, there are notable differences among RFCs and for different seasons, aggregation periods and magnitudes of the observed and forecast variables, both for precipitation and temperature. For example, the MEFP-GFS precipitation forecasts show the highest correlations and greatest skill in the California Nevada RFC, particularly during the wet season (November-April). While generally reliable, the MEFP forecasts typically underestimate the largest observed precipitation amounts (a Type-II conditional bias). As a statistical technique, the MEFP cannot detect, and thus appropriately correct for, conditions that are undetected by the GFS. The calibration of the MEFP to provide reliable and skillful forecasts of a range of precipitation amounts (not only large amounts) is a secondary factor responsible for these Type-II conditional biases. Interpretation of the verification results leads to guidance on the expected performance and limitations of the MEFP, together with recommendations on future enhancements. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Siddique R.,Pennsylvania State University | Mejia A.,Pennsylvania State University | Brown J.,Hydrologic Solutions Ltd | Reed S.,College of the Atlantic | Ahnert P.,College of the Atlantic
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2015

Accurate precipitation forecasts are required for accurate flood forecasting. The structures of different precipitation forecasting systems are constantly evolving, with improvements in forecasting techniques, increases in spatial and temporal resolution, improvements in model physics and numerical techniques, and better understanding of, and accounting for, predictive uncertainty. Hence, routine verification is necessary to understand the quality of forecasts as inputs to hydrologic modeling. In this study, we verify precipitation forecasts from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) 11-member Global Ensemble Forecast System Reforecast version 2 (GEFSRv2), as well as the 21-member Short Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) system. Specifically, basin averaged precipitation forecasts are verified for different basin sizes (spatial scales) in the operating domain of the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center (MARFC), using multi-sensor precipitation estimates (MPEs) as the observed data. The quality of the ensemble forecasts is evaluated conditionally upon precipitation amounts, forecast lead times, accumulation periods, and seasonality using different verification metrics. Overall, both GEFSRv2 and SREF tend to overforecast light to moderate precipitation and underforecast heavy precipitation. In addition, precipitation forecasts from both systems become increasingly reliable with increasing basin size and decreasing precipitation threshold, and the 24-hourly forecasts show slightly better skill than the 6-hourly forecasts. Both systems show a strong seasonal trend, characterized by better skill during the cool season than the warm season. Ultimately, the verification results lead to guidance on the expected quality of the precipitation forecasts, together with an assessment of their relative quality and unique information content, which is useful and necessary for their application in hydrologic forecasting. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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