Trends in the predictive performance of raw ensemble weather forecasts

S. Hemri*, M. Scheuerer, F. Pappenberger, K. Bogner, T. Haiden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


This study applies statistical postprocessing to ensemble forecasts of near-surface temperature, 24 h precipitation totals, and near-surface wind speed from the global model of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The main objective is to evaluate the evolution of the difference in skill between the raw ensemble and the postprocessed forecasts. Reliability and sharpness, and hence skill, of the former is expected to improve over time. Thus, the gain by postprocessing is expected to decrease. Based on ECMWF forecasts from January 2002 to March 2014 and corresponding observations from globally distributed stations, we generate postprocessed forecasts by ensemble model output statistics (EMOS) for each station and variable. Given the higher average skill of the postprocessed forecasts, we analyze the evolution of the difference in skill between raw ensemble and EMOS. This skill gap remains almost constant over time indicating that postprocessing will keep adding skill in the foreseeable future. Key Points Evolution of raw ensemble forecast skillFuture benefits from statistical postprocessingGlobal distribution of forecast skill development

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9197-9205
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • EMOS
  • ensemble weather forecasts
  • model verification
  • statistical postprocessing

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