Initial assessment of a multi-model approach to spring flood forecasting in Sweden

J. Olsson, C. B. Uvo, K. Foster, W. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hydropower is a major energy source in Sweden and proper reservoir management prior to the spring flood onset is crucial for optimal production. This requires useful forecasts of the accumulated discharge in the spring flood period (i.e. the spring-flood volume, SFV). Today's SFV forecasts are generated using a model-based climatological ensemble approach, where time series of precipitation and temperature from historical years are used to force a calibrated and initialised set-up of the HBV model. In this study, a number of new approaches to spring flood forecasting, that reflect the latest developments with respect to analysis and modelling on seasonal time scales, are presented and evaluated. Three main approaches, represented by specific methods, are evaluated in SFV hindcasts for three main Swedish rivers over a 10-year period with lead times between 0 and 4 months. In the first approach, historically analogue years with respect to the climate in the period preceding the spring flood are identified and used to compose a reduced ensemble. In the second, seasonal meteorological ensemble forecasts are used to drive the HBV model over the spring flood period. In the third approach, statistical relationships between SFV and the large-sale atmospheric circulation are used to build forecast models. None of the new approaches consistently outperform the climatological ensemble approach, but for specific locations and lead times improvements of 20-30 % are found. When combining all forecasts in a weighted multi-model approach, a mean improvement over all locations and lead times of nearly 10 % was indicated. This demonstrates the potential of the approach and further development and optimisation into an operational system is ongoing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6077-6113
Number of pages37
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 10

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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