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Proceedings Paper

Evaluation of a four-decade pan-European database of surface precipitation for river flow modeling
Author(s): Ben T. Gouweleeuw; Jutta Thielen; Ad de Roo; Hannah Cloke; Johan van der Knijff; Gian Franchello
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Paper Abstract

The ECMWF Re Analysis (ERA-40) refers to the rerun of the European Centre of Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model for the period September 1957- August 2002 employing all state-of-the-art information and satellite data input presently available. A selection of the reanalysis atmospheric output data can potentially be used to run a hydrological model to simulate historic river flows for the whole of Europe. Once evaluated against observed time series of rainfall and river flow, the output would constitute an extensive and coherent 40+ year database of pan-European calibrated river flow time series, providing a wealth of information and allowing a range of evaluation possibilities. Here, in order to separate the meteorological model performance from the hydrological model performance, the ERA-40 near-surface rainfall aggregates, which come as a by-product of the ECMWF NWP system, are evaluated against interpolated fields of observed surface precipitation. The ERA-40 rainfall fields consist of forecast data with a 36 hr lead time at midday and midnight and a 6 hr lead time at 6:00 and 18:00 UTC, allowing different combinations of lead and base times to compute daily rainfall aggregates. The evaluation of these aggregated precipitation fields against observed totals is relevant to the spin-up time of the ECMWF NWP system and the forecast reliability with increasing lead time. Interpolated fields of observed daily rainfall totals are provided by the Monitoring Agriculture with Remote Sensing (MARS) database (1990-2001) based at the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5574, Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, GIS Applications, and Geology IV, (22 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.567737
Show Author Affiliations
Ben T. Gouweleeuw, European Commission Joint Research Ctr. (Italy)
Jutta Thielen, European Commission Joint Research Ctr. (Italy)
Ad de Roo, European Commission Joint Research Ctr. (Italy)
Hannah Cloke, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Johan van der Knijff, European Commission Joint Research Ctr. (Italy)
Gian Franchello, European Commission Joint Research Ctr. (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5574:
Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, GIS Applications, and Geology IV
Manfred Ehlers; Francesco Posa, Editor(s)

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