Short-range forecasts of global precipitation using deep learning-augmented numerical weather prediction (Papers Track)

Manmeet Singh (The University of Texas at Austin); Vaisakh SB (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology); Nachiketa Acharya (Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science,Pennsylvania State University); Aditya Grover (UCLA); Suryachandra A. Rao (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology); Bipin Kumar (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology); Zong-Liang Yang (The University of Texas at Austin); Dev Niyogi (The University of Texas at Austin)

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Precipitation drives the hydroclimate of Earth and its spatiotemporal changes on a day to day basis have one of the most notable socioeconomic impacts. The success of numerical weather prediction (NWP) is measured by the improvement of forecasts for various physical fields such as temperature and pressure. Large biases however exist in the precipitation predictions. Pure deep learning based approaches lack the advancements acheived by NWP in the past two to three decades. Hybrid methodology using NWP outputs as inputs to the deep learning based refinement tool offer an attractive means taking advantage of both NWP and state of the art deep learning algorithms. Augmenting the output from a well-known NWP model: Coupled Forecast System ver.2 (CFSv2) with deep learning for the first time, we demonstrate a hybrid model capability (DeepNWP) which shows substantial skill improvements for short-range global precipitation at 1-, 2- and 3-days lead time. To achieve this hybridization, we address the sphericity of the global data by using modified DLWP-CS architecture which transforms all the fields to cubed-sphere projection. The dynamical model outputs corresponding to precipitation and surface temperature are ingested to a UNET for predicting the target ground truth precipitation. While the dynamical model CFSv2 shows a bias in the range of +5 to +7 mm/day over land, the multivariate deep learning model reduces it to -1 to +1 mm/day over global land areas. We validate the results by taking examples from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Central European floods in 2010, China floods in 2010, India floods in 2005 and the Myanmar cyclone Nargis in 2008.

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