Verification and intercomparison of mesoscale ensemble prediction systems in the Beijing 2008 Olympics Research and Development Project


Corresponding author.


During the period around the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Beijing 2008 Olympics Research and Development Project (B08RDP) was conducted as part of the World Weather Research Program short-range weather forecasting research project. Mesoscale ensemble prediction (MEP) experiments were carried out by six organizations in near-real time, in order to share their experiences in the development of MEP systems. The purpose of this study is to objectively verify these experiments and to clarify the problems associated with the current MEP systems through the same experiences.

Verification was performed using the MEP outputs interpolated into a common verification domain with a horizontal resolution of 15 km. For all systems, the ensemble spreads grew as the forecast time increased, and the ensemble mean improved the forecast errors compared with individual control forecasts in the verification against the analysis fields. However, each system exhibited individual characteristics according to the MEP method.

Some participants used physical perturbation methods. The significance of these methods was confirmed by the verification. However, the mean error (ME) of the ensemble forecast in some systems was worse than that of the individual control forecast. This result suggests that it is necessary to pay careful attention to physical perturbations.