Comparing Hydrological Postprocessors Including Ensemble Predictions Into Full Predictive Probability Distribution of Streamflow
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Water Resources Research 54 (12): 9860-9882 (2018)

Abstract Although not matching the formal definition of the predictive probability distribution, meteorological and hydrological ensembles have been frequently interpreted and directly used to assess flood-forecasting predictive uncertainty. With the objective of correctly assessing the predictive probability of floods, this paper introduces ways of taking into account the measures of uncertainty provided in the form of ensemble forecasts by modifying a number of well-established uncertainty postprocessors, such as Bayesian Model Averaging and Model Conditional Processor. The uncertainty postprocessors were developed on the assumption that the future unknown quantity (predictand) is uncertain while model forecasts (predictors) are given, which imply that they are perfectly known. With this in mind, we propose to relax this assumption by considering ensemble predictions, in analogy to measurement errors, as expressions of errors in model predictions to be integrated in the postprocessors coefficients estimation process. The analyses of the methodologies proposed in this work are conducted on a real case study based on meteorological ensemble predictions for the Po River at Pontelagoscuro in Italy. After showing how improper can be the direct use of ensemble predictions to describe the predictive probability distribution, results from the modified postprocessors are compared and discussed.
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