Articles | Volume 7, issue 6
31 Dec 2003
31 Dec 2003

Intercomparison of mesoscale meteorological models for precipitation forecasting

E. Richard, S. Cosma, R. Benoit, P. Binder, A. Buzzi, and P. Kaufmann

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