ENABLING HYDROLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF MONTHLY TO SEASONAL PRECIPITATION FORECASTS IN THE CORE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON REGION

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/193926
Title:
ENABLING HYDROLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF MONTHLY TO SEASONAL PRECIPITATION FORECASTS IN THE CORE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON REGION
Author:
Maitaria, Kazungu
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The aim of the research undertaken in this dissertation was to use medium-range to seasonal precipitation forecasts for hydrologic applications for catchments in the core North American Monsoon (NAM) region. To this end, it was necessary to develop a better understanding of the physical and statistical relationships between runoff processes and the temporal statistics of rainfall. To achieve this goal, development of statistically downscaled estimates of warm season precipitation over the core region of the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) were developed. Currently, NAM precipitation is poorly predicted on local and regional scales by Global Circulation Models (GCMs). The downscaling technique used here, the K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) model, combines information from retrospective GCM forecasts with simultaneous historical observations to infer statistical relationships between the low-resolution GCM fields and the locally-observed precipitation records. The stochastic nature of monsoon rainfall presents significant challenges for downscaling efforts and, therefore, necessitate a regionalization and an ensemble or probabilistic-based approach to quantitative precipitation forecasting. It was found that regionalization of the precipitation climatology prior to downscaling using KNN offered significant advantages in terms of improved skill scores.Selected output variables from retrospective ensemble runs of the National Centers for Environmental Predictions medium-range forecast (MRF) model were fed into the KNN downscaling model. The quality of the downscaled precipitation forecasts was evaluated in terms of a standard suite of ensemble verification metrics. This study represents the first time the KNN model has been successfully applied within a warm season convective climate regime and shown to produce skillful and reliable ensemble forecasts of daily precipitation out to a lead time of four to six days, depending on the forecast month.Knowledge of the behavior of the regional hydrologic systems in NAM was transferred into a modeling framework aimed at improving intra-seasonal hydrologic predictions. To this end, a robust lumped-parameter computational model of intermediate conceptual complexity was calibrated and applied to generate streamflow in three unregulated test basins in the core region of the NAM. The modeled response to different time-accumulated KNN-generated precipitation forcing was investigated. Although the model had some difficulty in accurately simulating hydrologic fluxes on the basis of Hortonian runoff principles only, the preliminary results achieved from this study are encouraging. The primary and most novel finding from this study is an improved predictability of the NAM system using state-of-the-art ensemble forecasting systems. Additionally, this research significantly enhanced the utility of the MRF ensemble forecasts and made them reliable for regional hydrologic applications. Finally, monthly streamflow simulations (from an ensemble-based approach) have been demonstrated. Estimated ensemble forecasts provide quantitative estimates of uncertainty associated with our model forecasts.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Ensemble forecasting; Hydrologic modeling; K Nearest Neighbor; North American Monsoon climatology; Statistical dissagregation
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Hydrology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
SHUTTLEWORTH, WILLIAM JAMES
Committee Chair:
SHUTTLEWORTH, WILLIAM JAMES

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleENABLING HYDROLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF MONTHLY TO SEASONAL PRECIPITATION FORECASTS IN THE CORE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON REGIONen_US
dc.creatorMaitaria, Kazunguen_US
dc.contributor.authorMaitaria, Kazunguen_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe aim of the research undertaken in this dissertation was to use medium-range to seasonal precipitation forecasts for hydrologic applications for catchments in the core North American Monsoon (NAM) region. To this end, it was necessary to develop a better understanding of the physical and statistical relationships between runoff processes and the temporal statistics of rainfall. To achieve this goal, development of statistically downscaled estimates of warm season precipitation over the core region of the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) were developed. Currently, NAM precipitation is poorly predicted on local and regional scales by Global Circulation Models (GCMs). The downscaling technique used here, the K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) model, combines information from retrospective GCM forecasts with simultaneous historical observations to infer statistical relationships between the low-resolution GCM fields and the locally-observed precipitation records. The stochastic nature of monsoon rainfall presents significant challenges for downscaling efforts and, therefore, necessitate a regionalization and an ensemble or probabilistic-based approach to quantitative precipitation forecasting. It was found that regionalization of the precipitation climatology prior to downscaling using KNN offered significant advantages in terms of improved skill scores.Selected output variables from retrospective ensemble runs of the National Centers for Environmental Predictions medium-range forecast (MRF) model were fed into the KNN downscaling model. The quality of the downscaled precipitation forecasts was evaluated in terms of a standard suite of ensemble verification metrics. This study represents the first time the KNN model has been successfully applied within a warm season convective climate regime and shown to produce skillful and reliable ensemble forecasts of daily precipitation out to a lead time of four to six days, depending on the forecast month.Knowledge of the behavior of the regional hydrologic systems in NAM was transferred into a modeling framework aimed at improving intra-seasonal hydrologic predictions. To this end, a robust lumped-parameter computational model of intermediate conceptual complexity was calibrated and applied to generate streamflow in three unregulated test basins in the core region of the NAM. The modeled response to different time-accumulated KNN-generated precipitation forcing was investigated. Although the model had some difficulty in accurately simulating hydrologic fluxes on the basis of Hortonian runoff principles only, the preliminary results achieved from this study are encouraging. The primary and most novel finding from this study is an improved predictability of the NAM system using state-of-the-art ensemble forecasting systems. Additionally, this research significantly enhanced the utility of the MRF ensemble forecasts and made them reliable for regional hydrologic applications. Finally, monthly streamflow simulations (from an ensemble-based approach) have been demonstrated. Estimated ensemble forecasts provide quantitative estimates of uncertainty associated with our model forecasts.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectEnsemble forecastingen_US
dc.subjectHydrologic modelingen_US
dc.subjectK Nearest Neighboren_US
dc.subjectNorth American Monsoon climatologyen_US
dc.subjectStatistical dissagregationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHydrologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSHUTTLEWORTH, WILLIAM JAMESen_US
dc.contributor.chairSHUTTLEWORTH, WILLIAM JAMESen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMULLEN, STEVEN L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGOCHIS, DAVID J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberVALDES, JUAN B.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberYATES, DAVID N.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest10262en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659752104en_US
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