Simplifying a hydrological ensemble prediction system with a backward greedy selection of members – Part 2: Generalization in time and space
Abstract. An uncertainty cascade model applied to stream flow forecasting seeks to evaluate the different sources of uncertainty of the complex rainfall-runoff process. The current trend focuses on the combination of Meteorological Ensemble Prediction Systems (MEPS) and hydrological model(s). However, the number of members of such a HEPS may rapidly increase to a level that may not be operationally sustainable. This paper evaluates the generalization ability of a simplification scheme of a 800-member HEPS formed by the combination of 16 lumped rainfall-runoff models with the 50 perturbed members from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) EPS. Tests are made at two levels. At the local level, the transferability of the 9th day hydrological member selection for the other 8 forecast horizons exhibits an 82% success rate. The other evaluation is made at the regional or cluster level, the transferability from one catchment to another from within a cluster of watersheds also leads to a good performance (85% success rate), especially for forecast time horizons above 3 days and when the basins that formed the cluster presented themselves a good performance on an individual basis. Diversity, defined as hydrological model complementarity addressing different aspects of a forecast, was identified as the critical factor for proper selection applications.