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Using Object-based Verification To Assess Improvements In Forecasts of Convective Storms Between Operational HRRR Versions 3 and 4


The object-based verification procedure described in a recent paper (Duda and Turner 2021) was expanded herein to compare forecasts of composite reflectivity and 6-h precipitation objects between the two most recent operational versions of the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model, versions 3 and 4, over an expanded set of warm season cases in 2019 and 2020. In addition to analyzing all objects, a reduced set of forecast-observation object pairs was constructed by taking the best forecast match to a given observation object for the purposes of bias-reduction and unequivocal object comparison. Despite the apparent signal of improved scalar metrics such as the object-based threat score in HRRRv4 compared to HRRRv3, no statistically significant differences were found between the models. Nonetheless, many object attribute comparisons revealed indications of improved forecast performance in HRRRv4 compared to HRRRv3. For example, HRRRv4 had a reduced over-forecasting bias for medium and large-sized reflectivity objects, and all objects during the afternoon. HRRRv4 also better replicated the distribution of object complexity and aspect ratio. Results for 6-h precipitation also suggested superior performance in HRRRv4 over HRRRv3. However, HRRRv4 was worse with centroid displacement errors and more severely over-forecast objects with a high maximum precipitation amount. Overall, this exercise revealed multiple forecast deficiencies in the HRRR, which enables developers to direct development efforts on detailed and specific endeavors to improve model forecasts.

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August 02, 2023
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AMS Journals Weather and Forecasting
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