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    Verification and bias correction of ECMWF forecasts for Irish weather stations to evaluate their potential usefulness in grass growth modelling

    McDonnell, Jack and Lambkin, Keith and Fealy, Rowan and Hennessy, Deirdre and Shalloo, Laurence and Brophy, Caroline (2017) Verification and bias correction of ECMWF forecasts for Irish weather stations to evaluate their potential usefulness in grass growth modelling. Meteorological Applications, 25. pp. 292-301. ISSN 1350-4827

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    Typical weather in Ireland provides conditions favourable for sustaining grass growth throughout most of the year. This affords grass based farming a significant economic advantage due to the low input costs associated with grass production. To optimize the productivity of grass based systems, farmers must manage the resource over short time scales. While research has been conducted into developing predictive grass growth models for Ireland to support on-farm decision making, short term weather forecasts have not yet been incorporated into these models. To assess their potential for use in predictive grass growth models, deterministic forecasts from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) were verified for lead times up to 10 days using observations from 25 Irish weather stations. Forecasts of air temperature variables were generally precise at all lead times, particularly up to 7 days. Verification of ECMWF soil temperature forecasts is limited, but here they were shown to be accurate at all depths and most precise at greater depths such as 50 cm. Rainfall forecasts performed well up to approximately 5 days. Seven bias correction techniques were assessed to minimize systematic biases in the forecasts. Based on the root mean squared error values, no large improvement was identified for rainfall forecasts on equivalent ECMWF forecasts, but the optimum bias corrections improved air and soil temperature forecasts greatly. Overall, the results demonstrated that forecasts predict observations accurately up to approximately a week in advance and therefore could prove valuable in grass growth prediction at farm level in Ireland

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: forecast verification; bias correction; Ireland; air temperature; rainfall; soil temperature; grass growth; agriculture;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 10959
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Rowan Fealy
    Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2019 15:11
    Journal or Publication Title: Meteorological Applications
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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