Publications by Tim Palmer

Introducing independent patterns into the Stochastically Perturbed Parametrisation Tendencies (SPPT) scheme

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society Wiley 143 (2017) 2168-2181

HM Christensen, S-J Lock, I Moroz, TN Palmer

The Stochastically Perturbed Parametrisation Tendencies (SPPT) scheme is used at weather and climate forecasting centres worldwide to represent model uncertainty that arises from simplifications involved in the parametrisation process. It uses spatio-temporally correlated multiplicative noise to perturb the sum of the parametrised tendencies. However, SPPT does not distinguish between different parametrisation schemes, which do not necessarily have the same error characteristics. A generalisation to SPPT is proposed, whereby the tendency from each parametrisation scheme can be perturbed using an independent stochastic pattern. This acknowledges that the forecast errors arising from different parametrisations are not perfectly correlated. Two variations of this ‘independent SPPT’ (iSPPT) approach are tested in the Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). The first perturbs all parametrised tendencies independently while the second groups tendencies before perturbation. The iSPPT schemes lead to statistically significant improvements in forecast reliability in the tropics in medium range weather forecasts. This improvement can be attributed to a large, beneficial increase in ensemble spread in regions with significant convective activity. The iSPPT schemes also lead to improved forecast skill in the extra tropics for a set of cases in which the synoptic initial conditions were more likely to result in European ‘forecast busts’. Longer 13-month simulations are also considered to indicate the effect of iSPPT on the mean climate of the IFS.

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