Early Warnings of Severe Convection Using the ECMWF Extreme Forecast Index
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Early Warnings of Severe Convection Using the ECMWF Extreme Forecast Index

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  • Journal Title:
    Weather and Forecasting
  • Description:
    ECMWF provides the ensemble-based extreme forecast index (EFI) and shift of tails (SOT) products to facilitate forecasting severe weather in the medium range. Exploiting the ingredients-based method of forecasting deep moist convection, two parameters, convective available potential energy (CAPE) and a composite CAPE–shear parameter, have been recently added to the EFI/SOT, targeting severe convective weather. Verification results based on the area under the relative operating characteristic curve (ROCA) show high skill of both EFIs at discriminating between severe and nonsevere convection in the medium range over Europe and the United States. In the first 7 days of the forecast ROCA values show significant skill, staying well above the no-skill threshold of 0.5. Two case studies are presented to give some practical considerations and discuss certain limitations of the EFI/SOT forecasts and how they could be overcome. In particular, both convective EFI/SOT products are good at providing guidance for where and when severe convection is possible if there is sufficient lift for convective initiation. Probability of precipitation is suggested as a suitable ensemble product for assessing whether convection is likely to be initiated. The model climate should also be considered when determining whether severe convection is possible; EFI and SOT values are related to the climatological frequency of occurrence of deep, moist convection over a given place and time of year.
  • Source:
    Weather and Forecasting, 33(3), 857-871
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  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
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