Evaluation of ERA-Interim reanalysis precipitation products using England and Wales observations
de Leeuw, J., Methven, J. and Blackburn, M. (2015) Evaluation of ERA-Interim reanalysis precipitation products using England and Wales observations. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 141 (688). pp. 798-806. ISSN 1477-870X
To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj.2395
Precipitation forecast data from the ERA-Interim reanalysis (33 years) are evaluated using the daily England and Wales Precipitation (EWP) observations obtained from a rain gauge network. Observed and reanalysis daily precipitation data are both described well by Weibull distributions with indistinguishable shapes but different scale parameters, such that the reanalysis underestimates the observations by an average factor of 22%. The correlation between the observed and ERA-Interim time series of regional, daily precipitation is 0.91. ERA-Interim also captures the statistics of extreme precipitation including a slightly lower likelihood of the heaviest precipitation events (>15 mm day− 1 for the regional average) than indicated by the Weibull fit. ERA-Interim is also closer to EWP for the high precipitation events. Since these carry weight in longer accumulations, a smaller underestimation of 19% is found for monthly mean precipitation. The partition between convective and stratiform precipitation in the ERA-Interim forecast is also examined. In summer both components contribute equally to the total precipitation amount, while in winter the stratiform precipitation is approximately double convective. These results are expected to be relevant to other regions with low orography on the coast of a continent at the downstream end of mid-latitude stormtracks.