Probabilistic postprocessing models for flow forecasts for a system of catchments and several lead times



[1] This paper introduces a methodology for the construction of probabilistic inflow forecasts for multiple catchments and lead times. A postprocessing approach is used, and a Gaussian model is applied for transformed variables. In operational situations, it is a straightforward task to use the models to sample inflow ensembles which inherit the dependencies between catchments and lead times. The methodology was tested and demonstrated in the river systems linked to the Ulla-Førre hydropower complex in southern Norway, where simultaneous probabilistic forecasts for five catchments and ten lead times were constructed. The methodology exhibits sufficient flexibility to utilize deterministic flow forecasts from a numerical hydrological model as well as statistical forecasts such as persistent forecasts and sliding window climatology forecasts. It also deals with variation in the relative weights of these forecasts with both catchment and lead time. When evaluating predictive performance in original space using cross-validation, the case study found that it is important to include the persistent forecast for the initial lead times and the hydrological forecast for medium-term lead times. Sliding window climatology forecasts become more important for the latest lead times. Furthermore, operationally important features in this case study such as heteroscedasticity, lead time varying between lead time dependency and lead time varying between catchment dependency are captured.