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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model evaluation paper 06 Nov 2018

Model evaluation paper | 06 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Validation of lake surface state in the HIRLAM NWP model against in-situ measurements in Finland

Laura Rontu, Kalle Eerola, and Matti Horttanainen Laura Rontu et al.
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. High Resolution Limited Area Model (HIRLAM), used for operational numerical weather prediction in the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), includes prognostic treatment of lake surface state since 2012. Forecast is based on the Freshwater Lake (FLake) model integrated to HIRLAM. Additionally, an independent objective analysis of lake surface water temperature (LSWT) combines the short forecast of FLake to observations from the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The resulting description of lake surface state – forecast FLake variables and analysed LSWT – was compared to SYKE observations of lake water temperature, freezing and melting dates as well as the ice and snow thickness for 2012–2018 over 45 lakes in Finland. During the ice-free period, the predicted LSWT corresponded to the observations with a slight overestimation, with a systematic error of +0.91 K. The colder temperatures were underrepresented and the maximum temperatures were too high. The objective analysis of LSWT was able to reduce the bias to +0.35 K. The predicted freezing dates corresponded well the observed dates, mostly within the accuracy of a week. The forecast melting dates were far too early, typically several weeks ahead of the observed dates. The growth of ice thickness after freezing was generally overestimated. However, practically no predicted snow appeared on lake ice. The absence of snow, found to be due to a technical error in HIRLAM, is suggested to be also the reason of the inaccurate simulation of the ice melt in spring.

Laura Rontu et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Laura Rontu et al.
Laura Rontu et al.
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