Ensemble streamflow forecasting across the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region with a distributed hydrological model forced by GEFS reforecasts

Ridwan Siddique, Alfonso Mejia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The quality of ensemble streamflow forecasts in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region (MAR) is investigated for short- to medium-range forecast lead times (6-168 h). To this end, a regional hydrological ensemble prediction system (RHEPS) is assembled and implemented. The RHEPS in this case comprises the ensemble meteorological forcing, a distributed hydrological model, and a statistical postprocessor. As the meteorological forcing, precipitation, and near-surface temperature outputs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) 11-member Global Ensemble Forecast System Reforecast, version 2 (GEFSRv2), are used. The Hydrology Laboratory Research Distributed Hydrologic Model (HL-RDHM) is used as the distributed hydrological model, and a statistical autoregressive model with an exogenous variable is used as the postprocessor. To verify streamflow forecasts from the RHEPS, eight river basins in the MAR are selected, ranging in drainage area from ~262 to 29 965 km2 and covering some of the major rivers in the MAR. The verification results for the RHEPS show that, at the initial lead times (1-3 days), the hydrological uncertainties have more impact on forecast skill than the meteorological ones. The former become less pronounced, and the meteorological uncertainties dominate, across longer lead times (> 3 days). Nonetheless, the ensemble streamflow forecasts remain skillful for lead times of up to 7 days. Additionally, postprocessing increases forecast skills across lead times and spatial scales, particularly for the high-flow conditions. Overall, the proposed RHEPS is able to improve streamflow forecasting in the MAR relative to the deterministic (unperturbed GEFSRv2 member) forecasting case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1905-1928
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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