Title page for ETD etd-02062012-171908

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Landman, Stephanie
Email stephanie.landman@weathersa.co.za
URN etd-02062012-171908
Document Title A multi-model ensemble system for short-range weather prediction in South Africa
Degree MSc
Department Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology
Advisor Name Title
Dr F E Engelbrecht Co-Supervisor
Ms L L Dyson Supervisor
  • precipitation
  • multi-model
  • ensemble
  • short-range
  • forecasting
  • verification
Date 2012-04-13
Availability unrestricted
Predicting the location and timing of rainfall events has important social and economic impacts. It is also important to have the ability to predict the amount of rainfall accurately. In operational centres forecasters use deterministic model output data as guidance for a subjective probabilistic rainfall forecast. The aim of this research is to determine the skill in an objective multi-model, multi-institute objective probabilistic forecast system. This was done by obtaining the rainfall forecast of two high-resolution regional models operational in South Africa. The first model is the Unified Model (UM) which is operational at the South African Weather Service. The UM contributed three members which differ in physics, data assimilation techniques and horisontal resolution. The second model is the Conformal-Cubic Atmospheric Model (CCAM) which is operational at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research which in turn contributed two members to the ensemble system differing in horisontal resolution. A single-model ensemble was constructed for the UM and CCAM models respectively with each of the individual members having equal weights. The UM and CCAM single-model ensemble prediction models have been used in turn to construct a multi-model ensemble prediction system, using simple un-weighted averaging. The multi-model system was used to predict the 24-hour rainfall totals for three austral summer half-year seasons of 2006/07 to 2008/09. The forecast of this system was rigorously tested using observed rainfall data for the same period. From the multi-model system it has been found that the probabilistic forecast has good significant skill in predicting rainfall. The multi-model system proved to have skill and shows discrimination between events and non-events. This study has shown that it is possible to make an objective probabilistic rainfall forecast by constructing a multi-model, multi-institute system with high resolution regional models currently operational in South Africa. Thus, probabilistic rainfall forecasts with usable skill can be made with the use of a multi-model short-range ensemble prediction system over the South African domain. Such a system is not currently operational in South Africa.

Copyright 2012, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Landman, S 2012, A multi-model ensemble system for short-range weather prediction in South Africa, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02062012-171908 / >


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