Articles | Volume 7, issue 6
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 7, 799–811, 2003

Special issue: Hydrological and meteorological aspects of floods in the...

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 7, 799–811, 2003

  31 Dec 2003

31 Dec 2003

Intercomparison of mesoscale meteorological models for precipitation forecasting

E. Richard1, S. Cosma1, R. Benoit2, P. Binder3, A. Buzzi4, and P. Kaufmann3 E. Richard et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Aérologie, CNRS/UPS, 14 Avenue E. Berlin, F-31400 Toulouse, France
  • 2Recherche en Prévision Numérique, 2121 TransCanada Highway, Dorval, QC, Canada H9P 1J3
  • 3MeteoSwiss, P.O. Box 514, CH-8044 Zürich, Switzerland
  • 4Istituto di Scienze dell' Atmosfera e del Clima, CNR, Via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy
  • E-mail for corresponding author:

Abstract. In the framework of the RAPHAEL EU project, a series of past heavy precipitation events has been simulated with different meteorological models. Rainfall hindcasts and forecasts have been produced by four models in use at various meteorological services or research centres of Italy, Canada, France and Switzerland. The paper is focused on the comparison of the computed precipitation fields with the available surface observations. The comparison is carried out for three meteorological situations which lead to severe flashflood over the Toce-Ticino catchment in Italy (6599 km2) or the Ammer catchment (709 km2) in Germany. The results show that all four models reproduced the occurrence of these heavy precipitation events. The accuracy of the computed precipitation appears to be more case-dependent than model-dependent. The sensitivity of the computed rainfall to the boundary conditions (hindcast v. forecast) was found to be rather weak, indicating that a flood forecasting system based upon a numerical meteo-hydrological simulation could be feasible in an operational context.

Keywords: meteorological models, precipitation forecast