Storm tracking and ensemble prediction
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The prediction of extratropical cyclones by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) is investigated using a storm-tracking forecast verifica-tion methodology. The cyclones are identified and tracked along the forecast trajectories so that statistics can be generated to determine the rate at which the position and intensity of the forecasted cyclones diverge from the corresponding analysed cyclones with forecast time. Overall the ECMWF EPS has a slightly higher level of performance than the NCEP EPS. However, in the southern hemisphere the NCEP EPS has a slightly higher level of skill for the intensity of the storms. The results from both EPS indicate a higher level of predictive skill for the position of extratropical cyclones than their intensity and show that there is a larger spread in intensity than position. The results also illustrate several benefits an EPS can offer over a deterministic forecast.