A New Approach in Generating Meteorological Forecasts for Ensemble Streamflow Forecasting using Multivariate Functions

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Sepideh Khajehei1, Shahrbanou Madadgar1 and Hamid Moradkhani2, (1)Portland State University, Portland, OR, United States, (2)Portland State University, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Portland, OR, United States
The reliability and accuracy of hydrological predictions are subject to various sources of uncertainty, including meteorological forcing, initial conditions, model parameters and model structure. To reduce the total uncertainty in hydrological applications, one approach is to reduce the uncertainty in meteorological forcing by using the statistical methods based on the conditional probability density functions (pdf). However, one of the requirements for current methods is to assume the Gaussian distribution for the marginal distribution of the observed and modeled meteorology. Here we propose a Bayesian approach based on Copula functions to develop the conditional distribution of precipitation forecast needed in deriving a hydrologic model for a sub-basin in the Columbia River Basin. Copula functions are introduced as an alternative approach in capturing the uncertainties related to meteorological forcing. Copulas are multivariate joint distribution of univariate marginal distributions, which are capable to model the joint behavior of variables with any level of correlation and dependency. The method is applied to the monthly forecast of CPC with 0.25x0.25 degree resolution to reproduce the PRISM dataset over 1970-2000. Results are compared with Ensemble Pre-Processor approach as a common procedure used by National Weather Service River forecast centers in reproducing observed climatology during a ten-year verification period (2000-2010).