A comparison of the ECMWF, MSC, and NCEP global ensemble prediction systems

Roberto Buizza, P. L. Houtekamer, Z. Tóth, Gerald Pellerin, Mozheng Wei, Yuejian Zhu

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394 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present paper summarizes the methodologies used at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC), and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) to simulate the effect of initial and model uncertainties in ensemble forecasting. The characteristics of the three systems are compared for a 3-month period between May and July 2002. The main conclusions of the study are the following: • the performance of ensemble prediction systems strongly depends on the quality of the data assimilation system used to create the unperturbed (best) initial condition and the numerical model used to generate the forecasts; • a successful ensemble prediction system should simulate the effect of both initial and model-related uncertainties on forecast errors; and • for all three global systems, the spread of ensemble forecasts is insufficient to systematically capture reality, suggesting that none of them is able to simulate all sources of forecast uncertainty. The relative strengths and weaknesses of the three systems identified in this study can offer guidelines for the future development of ensemble forecasting techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1097
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume133
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

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weather
ensemble forecasting
prediction
data assimilation
comparison
forecast
services
methodology
effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Buizza, R., Houtekamer, P. L., Tóth, Z., Pellerin, G., Wei, M., & Zhu, Y. (2005). A comparison of the ECMWF, MSC, and NCEP global ensemble prediction systems. Monthly Weather Review, 133(5), 1076-1097. https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR2905.1

A comparison of the ECMWF, MSC, and NCEP global ensemble prediction systems. / Buizza, Roberto; Houtekamer, P. L.; Tóth, Z.; Pellerin, Gerald; Wei, Mozheng; Zhu, Yuejian.

In: Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 133, No. 5, 05.2005, p. 1076-1097.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Buizza, R, Houtekamer, PL, Tóth, Z, Pellerin, G, Wei, M & Zhu, Y 2005, 'A comparison of the ECMWF, MSC, and NCEP global ensemble prediction systems', Monthly Weather Review, vol. 133, no. 5, pp. 1076-1097. https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR2905.1
Buizza, Roberto ; Houtekamer, P. L. ; Tóth, Z. ; Pellerin, Gerald ; Wei, Mozheng ; Zhu, Yuejian. / A comparison of the ECMWF, MSC, and NCEP global ensemble prediction systems. In: Monthly Weather Review. 2005 ; Vol. 133, No. 5. pp. 1076-1097.
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