The weather radar-based object-oriented convective storm tracking is a standard approach for analyzing and nowcasting convective storms. However, the majority of current storm-tracking algorithms provide nowcasts only in a deterministic fashion with limited ability to estimate the related uncertainties.
This paper proposes a method for probabilistic nowcasting of convective storms that addresses the issue of uncertainty of nowcasts. The approach first utilizes a two-dimensional radar-based storm identification and tracking algorithm in conjunction with the Kalman filtering of noisy measurements of storm centroid with the continuous white noise acceleration model. The resulting smoothed estimates of storm centroid and velocity components and their error covariance values are then applied to nowcast the probability of storm occurrence.
To verify the approach, 20-60-min nowcasts were computed every 5 min using composite weather radar data in Finland including approximately 22 000 tracked storms. The verification shows that the algorithm is applicable in both deterministic and probabilistic manner. Moreover, the forecast probabilities are consistent with observed frequencies of the storms, especially with 20- and 30-min nowcasts. The accuracy of the probabilistic nowcasts was evaluated through the Brier skill score with respect to the deterministic nowcasts and nowcasts based on observation persistence and sample climatology. The results show that the proposed nowcasting method has an improved accuracy over all of the reference forecast types.
- CONTINENTAL RADAR IMAGES
- ALPINE REGION