Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
25 Jul 2012
 | 25 Jul 2012

Statistical processing of forecasts for hydrological ensemble prediction: a comparative study of different bias correction strategies

I. Zalachori, M.-H. Ramos, R. Garçon, T. Mathevet, and J. Gailhard

Abstract. The aim of this paper is to investigate the use of statistical correction techniques in hydrological ensemble prediction. Ensemble weather forecasts (precipitation and temperature) are used as forcing variables to a hydrologic forecasting model for the production of ensemble streamflow forecasts. The impact of different bias correction strategies on the quality of the forecasts is examined. The performance of the system is evaluated when statistical processing is applied: to precipitation and temperature forecasts only (pre-processing from the hydrological model point of view), to flow forecasts (post-processing) and to both. The pre-processing technique combines precipitation ensemble predictions with an analog forecasting approach, while the post-processing is based on past errors of the hydrological model when simulating streamflows. Forecasts from 11 catchments in France are evaluated. Results illustrate the importance of taking into account hydrological uncertainties to improve the quality of operational streamflow forecasts.