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Initial Development and Testing of a Convection-Allowing Model Scorecard

Abstract

A scorecard summary diagram allows for at-a-glance visualization and comparison of convection allowing model performance across multiple metrics and fields.

Evaluation of numerical weather prediction (NWP) is critical for both forecasters and researchers. Through such evaluation, forecasters can understand the strengths and weaknesses of NWP guidance, and researchers can work to improve NWP models. However, evaluating high-resolution convection-allowing models (CAMs) requires unique verification metrics tailored to high-resolution output, particularly when considering extreme events. Metrics used and fields evaluated often differ between verification studies, hindering the effort to broadly compare CAMs. The purpose of this article is to summarize the development and initial testing of a CAM-based scorecard, which is intended for broad use across research and operational communities and is similar to scorecards currently available within the enhanced Model Evaluation Tools package (METplus) for evaluating coarser models.

Scorecards visualize many verification metrics and attributes simultaneously, providing a broad overview of model performance. A preliminary CAM scorecard was developed and tested during the 2018 Spring Forecasting Experiment using METplus, focused on metrics and attributes relevant to severe convective forecasting. The scorecard compared attributes specific to convection-allowing scales such as reflectivity and surrogate severe fields, using metrics like the Critical Success Index (CSI) and Fractions Skill Score (FSS). While this preliminary scorecard focuses on attributes relevant to severe convective storms, the scorecard framework allows for the inclusion of further metrics relevant to other applications. Development of a CAM scorecard allows for evidence-based decision making regarding future operational CAM systems as the National Weather Service transitions to a Unified Forecast system as part of the Next-Generation Global Prediction System initiative.

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