How well can a seasonal forecast system represent three hourly compound wind and precipitation extremes over Europe?

Authors: Laura E Owen and Jennifer L Catto and Nick J Dunstone and David B Stephenson
Journal: Environmental Research Letters
Year: 2021

Extreme precipitation and winds can have a severe impact on society, particularly when they occur at the same place and time. In this study the Met Office’s Global Seasonal forecast system version 5 (GloSea5) model ensembles are evaluated against the reanalysis dataset ERA5, to find out how well they represent three hourly extreme precipitation, extreme wind and extreme co-occurring events over Europe. Although substantial differences in magnitude are found between precipitation and wind extremes between the datasets, the conditional probability of exceedance above the 99th percentile, which measures the co-occurrence between the two extremes, compares well spatially over Europe. However, significant differences in frequency are found around and over some areas of high topography. Generally GloSea5 underestimates this co-occurrence over sea. The model’s co-occurring events at individual locations investigated occur with very similar synoptic patterns to ERA5, indicating that the compound extremes are produced for the correct reasons.