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Keywords:

  • rainfall forecasting;
  • numerical weather prediction;
  • radar nowcasting;
  • weather research and foreacasting model;
  • translation model

Abstract

The overall objective of this study is to improve the forecasting accuracy of the precipitation in the Singapore region by means of both rainfall forecasting and nowcasting. Numerical Weather Predication (NWP) and radar-based rainfall nowcasting are two important sources for quantitative precipitation forecast. In this paper, an attempt to combine rainfall prediction from a high-resolution mesoscale weather model and a radar-based rainfall model was performed. Two rainfall forecasting methods were selected and examined: (i) the weather research and forecasting model (WRF); and (ii) a translation model (TM). The WRF model, at a high spatial resolution, was run over the domain of interest using the Global Forecast System data as initializing fields. Some heavy rainfall events were selected from data record and used to test the forecast capability of WRF and TM. Results obtained from TM and WRF were then combined together to form an ensemble rainfall forecasting model, by assigning weights of 0.7 and 0.3 weights to TM and WRF, respectively. This paper presented results from WRF and TM, and the resulting ensemble rainfall forecasting; comparisons with station data were conducted as well. It was shown that results from WRF are very useful as advisory of anticipated heavy rainfall events, whereas those from TM, which used information of rain cells already appearing on the radar screen, were more accurate for rainfall nowcasting as expected. The ensemble rainfall forecasting compares reasonably well with the station observation data. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.