Validating ECMWF forecasts for the occurrence of ice supersaturation using visual observations of persistent contrails and radiosonde measurements over England
Radel, G. and Shine, K. P. (2010) Validating ECMWF forecasts for the occurrence of ice supersaturation using visual observations of persistent contrails and radiosonde measurements over England. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 136 (652). pp. 1723-1732. ISSN 1477-870X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj.670
One of the largest uncertainties in quantifying the impact of aviation on climate concerns the formation and spreading of persistent contrails. The inclusion of a cloud scheme that allows for ice supersaturation into the integrated forecast system (IFS) of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) can be a useful tool to help reduce these uncertainties. This study evaluates the quality of the ECMWF forecasts with respect to ice super saturation in the upper troposphere by comparing them to visual observations of persistent contrails and radiosonde measurements of ice supersaturation over England. The performance of 1- to 3-day forecasts is compared including also the vertical accuracy of the supersaturation forecasts. It is found that the operational forecasts from the ECMWF are able to predict cold ice supersaturated regions very well. For the best cases Peirce skill scores of 0.7 are obtained, with hit rates at times exceeding 80% and false-alarm rates below 20%. Results are very similar for comparisons with visual observations and radiosonde measurements, the latter providing the better statistical significance.