01 Jun 2023
 | 01 Jun 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Understanding Winter Windstorm Predictability over Europe

Lisa Degenhardt, Gregor C. Leckebusch, and Adam A. Scaife

Abstract. Winter windstorms are one of the most damaging meteorological events in the extra-tropics. Their impact on society makes it essential to understand and improve the seasonal forecast of these extreme events. Skilful predictions on a seasonal time scale have been shown in previous studies by investigating hindcasts from various forecast centres. This study aims to connect forecast skill to relevant dynamical factors. Therefore, 10 factors have been selected which are known to influence either windstorms directly or their synoptic systems, cyclones. These factors are tested with ERA5 and GloSea5 seasonal hindcasts for their relation to windstorm forecast performance.

Following GloSea5 factors’ validation contributing to windstorms, the seasonal forecast skill of the factors themselves and the relevance and influence of their forecast quality to windstorm forecast quality is assessed. Factors like mean-sea-level pressure, sea surface temperature, equivalent potential temperature and Eady Growth Rate show coherent results within these three steps, meaning these factors are skilfully predicted in relevant regions leading to increased forecast skill of winter windstorms. Nevertheless, not all factors show this clear signal of forecast skill improvement for winter windstorms, and this might indicate potential for further model improvements or further understanding to improve seasonal winter windstorm predictions.

Lisa Degenhardt et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wcd-2023-12', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Jul 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on wcd-2023-12', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Jul 2023

Lisa Degenhardt et al.

Lisa Degenhardt et al.


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Short summary
This study is investigating how dynamical factors that are known to influence cyclone or windstorm development and strengthening also influence the seasonal forecast skill of severe winter windstorms. This study shows which factors are well represented in the seasonal forecast model, GloSea5, and which might would need improvement to might improve the forecast of severe winter windstorms.