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Biases In The Prediction of Convective Storm Characteristics With A Convection Allowing Ensemble


The severity, duration, and spatial extent of thunderstorm impacts are related to convective storm mode. This study assesses the skill of the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Ensemble (HRRR-E) and its deterministic counterpart (HRRRv4) at predicting convective mode and storm macrophysical properties using 35 convective events observed during the 2020 warm season across the eastern United States. Seven cases were selected from each of five subjectively determined convective organization modes: tropical cyclones, mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), quasi-linear convective systems, clusters, and cellular convection. These storm events were assessed using an object-based approach to identify convective storms and determine their individual size. Averaged across all 35 cases, both the HRRR-E and HRRRv4 predicted storm areas were generally larger than observed, with this bias being a function of storm lifetime and convective mode. Both modeling systems also underpredicted the rapid increase in storm counts during the initiation period, particularly for the smaller-scale storm modes. Interestingly, performance of the HRRRv4 differed from that of the HRRR-E, with the HRRRv4 generally having a larger bias in total storm area than the HRRR-E due to HRRRv4 predicting up to 66% more storm objects than the HRRR-E. The HRRR-E accurately predicted the convective mode 65% of the time, with complete misses being very rare (<5% of the time overall). However, an evaluation of rank histograms across all 35 cases revealed that the HRRR-E tended to be underdispersive when predicting storm size for all but the MCS mode.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Weather and Forecasting
Published On
December 16, 2021
Publisher Name
American Meteorological Society
Print Volume
Submitted On
June 25, 2021


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.