- B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, 1981
- M.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1984
- Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1987
Interests and Research:
Validation of satellite precipitation estimates:
Rainfall products from operational satellite precipitation algorithms are easily obtainable via the web or FTP, and are being used for many diverse meteorological, climate, hydrological, agricultural, and other applications. It is therefore important to have an idea of their accuracy and expected error characteristics. The Australian gridded rain gauge analysis is being used to intercompare and validate several operational and semi-operational satellite precipitation algorithms on daily and longer time scales. These include GPCP products, as well as several algorithms from NASA GSFC, NOAA NESDIS, NOAA CPC, Naval Research Laboratory, UC Irvine, and U. Bristol. A few NWP models are included for comparison. The validation results are updated on a daily basis, and results are displayed on the SatRainVal web site. A paper by Ebert et al. 2007 describes the performance of satellite precipitation estimates over Australia, the United States, and Western Europe.
Verification of quantitative precipitation forecasts:
In order to improve the accuracy of quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) from the Bureau's numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, it is first necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the models. QPFs from the Bureau's regional and global NWP models, as well as NWP models from several operational centres overseas, are verified on a daily basis against the operational rainfall analyses. Results show that the models have good skill in the southern part of Australia, but less skill in the tropical north. As part of the QPF verification process, I developed an interactive verification tool called RAINVAL that produces maps, time series, and statistics to show the skill of the QPFs when compared to the rainfall analysis and to each other. It is currently used to monitor the daily rainfall forecasts over Australia from a large number of NWP models. It is also being used in the Bureau to assess new versions of the regional and global models, as well as rainfall output from overseas models.
One approach to verifying QPFs is to focus on individual weather systems (contiguous rain areas, or CRAs) as opposed to point-by-point domain rainfall verifications. The QPF error for an individual rain system has components due to incorrect location, incorrect magnitude, and incorrect pattern (shape). By using pattern translation and minimisation of the squared difference between forecast and observed rainfall, the displacement of the forecast can be determined. Overlaying the two patterns, the remaining error can partitioned into contributions from magnitude and shape errors. This verification strategy can reveal systematic errors in NWP QPFs, which in turn can be related to weaknesses in model dynamics, rainfall parameterisations, surface topography, etc. The forecast for the rain event inself can be classified as a "hit", "miss", etc., using this technique. Details may be found in Ebert and McBride (2000). The IDL code can be downloaded by clicking here.
Neighborhood (a.k.a. fuzzy) verification approaches reward closeness by relaxing the requirement for exact matches between forecasts and observations. The key to the neighborhood approach is the use of a spatial window or neighborhood surrounding the forecast and/or observed points. The treatment of the points within the window may include averaging (upscaling), thresholding, or generation of a PDF, allowing a variety of continuous, categorical, and probabilistic verification metrics to be employed. The size of this neighborhood is varied to provide verification results at multiple scales, thus allowing the user to determine at which scales the forecast has useful skill. Other windows could be included to represent closeness in time, closeness in intensity, and/or closeness in some other important aspect. Ebert (2008) describes a framework for neighborhood verification that incorporates several neighborhood verification methods appearing in the literature over recent years. The IDL code can be downloaded by clicking here.
The WWRP has held Forecast Demonstration Projects during the Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Olympics games to demonstrate the skill and utility of advanced nowcasting systems. In Sydney we found that the systems indeed showed significant skill, but by and large did not perform better than simple extrapolation (Ebert et al., 2004). For the Beijing FDP I developed a real-time nowcast verification system that was used by forecasters and scientists. In additional to the "usual" visual and statistical verification, some of the advanced verification techniques that have been developed in recent years were also included.
I am a member of the WWRP/WGNE Joint Working Group on Forecast Verification Research established in 2003. One of our activities is to maintain a Forecast Verification Web Page that describes both the standard and the newer diagnostic verification methods. It addresses various issues in verification such as grid box vs. point verification, confidence intervals on the verification results, pooling vs. stratifying results, etc., and has a section for FAQ. It also has a few downloadable verification datasets that can be used to test verification methods.
Poor man's ensemble:
We run a poor man's ensemble (PME) forecast for rainfall, in which QPFs from several operational NWP models are combined to give deterministic and probabilistic rainfall forecasts. This approach is cheap and efficient, and gives deterministic forecasts that are more accurate, on average, than any one of the component models. In particular, the location of the rain system is much much improved using the poor man's ensemble. It also gives useful probabilistic forecasts out to several days. In fact, the poor man's ensemble had greater probabilistic skill than the 51-member ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System out to 48 h. The details of this study are given in Ebert (2001, 2002). Forecasts from the PME can be viewed by clicking here.
Positions and Committees:
- World Weather Research Program (WWRP) Joint Scientific Committee, 2011-present
- Australian National Fire Danger Rating Science Sub-group, 2010-present
- WGNE/WGCM Climate Metrics Panel, 2009-present
- AMS Committee on Probability and Statistics, 2007-2009
- WWRP Beijing 2008 FDP Team, 2005-2009
- GIFS-TIGGE Working Group, 2005-2011
- GPM GV Steering Committee, 2003-2010
- WWRP/WGNE Joint Working Group on Verification (JWGV), 2003-present; co-chair 2008-present
- International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG), 2002-present
- WWRP Sydney 2000 FDP Verification Team, 2001-2002
- Science Advisory Team, Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP), 1998-2001
- Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Committee of the Australian Academy of Science, 1997-2000
- De Maria, E.M.C., D.A. Rodriguez, E.E. Ebert, F. Su, and J.B. Valdes, 2011: Evaluation of mesoscale convective systems in South America using multiple satellite products and an object-based approach. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D08103, doi:10.1029/2010JD015157.
- Ebert, E.E., M. Turk, S.J. Kusselson, J. Yang, M. Seybold, P.R. Keehn, R.J. Kuligowski, 2011: Ensemble tropical rainfall potential (eTRaP) forecasts. Wea. Forecasting, 26, 213-224.
- Schuster, G., E.E. Ebert, M.A. Stevenson, R.J. Corner, C.A. Johansen, 2011: Application of satellite precipitation data to analyse and model relationships between Murray Valley encephalitis virus and rainfall in Western Australia. Int. J. Health Geographics, 10, doi:10.1186/1476-072X-10-8.
- Bougeault, P., Z. Toth, C. Bishop, B. Brown, D. Burridge, D.-H. Chen, B. Ebert, M. Fuentes, T. Hamill, K. Mylne, J. Nicolau, T. Paccagnella, Y.-Y. Park, D. Parsons, B. Raoult, D. Schuster, P. Silva Dias, R. Swinbank, Y. Takeuchi, W. Tennant, L. Wilson and S. Worley, 2010: The THORPEX Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE). Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 91, 1059-1072.
- Gilleland, E., D.A. Ahijevych, B.G. Brown and E.E. Ebert, 2010: Verifying forecasts spatially. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 91, 1365-1373.
- Ahijevych, D., E. Gilleland, B. Brown, and E. Ebert, 2009: Application of spatial verification methods to gridded precipitation forecasts. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 1485-1497.
- Dance, S., E. Ebert and D. Scurrah, 2009: Thunderstorm strike probability nowcasting. J. Atmos. Oceanic. Tech., 27, 79-93.
- Ebert, E.E., 2009: Neighborhood verification of high resolution precipitation forecasts. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 1498-1510.
- Ebert, E.E. and W.A. Gallus, 2009: Toward better understanding of the contiguous rain area (CRA) verification method. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 1401-1415.
- Ebert, E.E., 2009: Fuzzy (neighborhood) verification of high resolution precipitation products. In Hossain, F. and M. Gebremichael (eds), Satellite Rainfall Applications for Surface Hydrology. Springer, pp.127-143.
- Gilleland, E., D. Ahijevych, B.G. Brown, B. Casati, and E.E. Ebert, 2009: Inter-comparison of spatial verification methods. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 1416-1430.
- Turk, F.J., B.-J. Sohn, J.-J. Oh, E.E. Ebert, V. Levizzani, and E.A. Smith, 2009: Validating a rapid-update satellite precipitation analysis across telescoping space and time scales. Meteorol. Atm. Phys., 105, 99-108.
- Casati, B., L.J. Wilson, D.B. Stephenson, P. Nurmi, A. Ghelli, M. Pocernich, U. Damrath, E.E. Ebert, B.G. Brown and S. Mason, 2008: Forecast verification: current status and future directions. Meteorol. Appl., 15, 3-18.
- Ebert, E.E., 2008: Fuzzy verification of high resolution gridded forecasts: A review and proposed framework. Meteorol. Appls., 15, 51-64.
- Gruber, A and V. Levizzani, Lead Authors, 2008: Assessment of Global Precipitation Products. WCRP Series Report No. 128 and WMO TD-No. 1430, 55 pp.
- Rossa, A., P. Nurmi, and E. Ebert, 2008: Overview of methods for the verification of quantitative precipitation forecasts. In Michaelides, S. (ed), Precipitation: Advances in Measurement, Estimation and Prediction, pp. 417-450.
- Turk, F.J., P.Arkin, E. Ebert and M. Sapiano, 2008: The First Workshop of the Program for the Evaluation of High Resolution Precipitation Products. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 89, 1911-1916.
- Engel, C. and E. Ebert, 2007: Performance of hourly operational consensus forecasts (OCFs) in the Australian region. Wea. Forecasting, 22, 1345-1359.
- Ebert, E.E., J. Janowiak and C. Kidd, 2007: Comparison of near real time precipitation estimates from satellite observations and numerical models. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 88, 47-64.
- Ebert, E.E., 2006: Methods for verifying satellite precipitation estimates. In Levizzani, V., P. Bauer and F.J. Turk (eds), Measuring Precipitation from Space. EURAINSAT and the Future. Advanced in Global Change Research 28, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 345-356.
- Grams, J.S., W.A. Gallus, L.S. Wharton, S. Koch, A. Loughe, and E. E. Ebert, 2006: The use of a modified Ebert-McBride technique to evaluate mesoscale model QPF as a function of convective system morphology during IHOP 2002. Wea. Forecasting, 21, 288-306.
- Ebert, E.E., S. Kusselson and M. Turk, 2005: Validation of NESDIS operational tropical rainfall potential (TRaP) forecasts for Australian tropical cyclones. Aust. Meteorol. Mag., 54, 121-135.
- Ebert, E., L.J. Wilson, B.G. Brown, P. Nurmi, H.E. Brooks, J. Bally, and M. Jaeneke, 2004: Verification of nowcasts from the WWRP Sydney 2000 Forecast Demonstration Project. Wea. Forecasting, 19, 73-96.
- May, P.T., T. Keenan, R. Potts, R. Webb, A. Treloar, E. Spark, S. Lawrence, E. Ebert, J. Bally, J. Wilson, and P. Joe, 2004: The Sydney observing network during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Forecast Demonstration Project: Addressing forecast issues and nowcasting requirements. Wea. Forecasting, 19, 115-130.
- Pierce, C.E., E.E. Ebert, A. Seed, N. Fox, M. Sleigh, C.G. Collier, N. Donaldson, J. Wilson, R. Roberts and C. Mueller, 2004: The nowcasting of precipitation during Sydney 2000: An appraisal of the QPF algorithms. Wea. Forecasting, 19, 7-21.
- Wilson, J.W., E. Ebert, T. Saxen, C. Pierce, M. Sleigh, A. Seed, R. Roberts and C. Mueller, 2004: Sydney 2000 Forecast Demonstration Project: Convective storm nowcasting. Wea. Forecasting, 19, 131-150.
- Ebert, E.E., U. Damrath, W. Wergen and M.E. Baldwin, 2003: The WGNE assessment of short-term quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) from operational numerical weather prediction models. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 84, 481-492.
- Keenan, T., P. Joe, J. Wilson, C. Collier, B. Golding, D. Burgess, P. May, C. Pierce, J. Bally, A. Crook, D. Sills, L. Berry, I. Bell, N. Fox, R. Pielke Jr., E. Ebert, M. Eilts, K. O'Loughlin, R. Webb, R. Carbone, K. Browning, R. Roberts, C. Mueller, 2002: The Sydney 2000 World Weather Research Programme Forecast Demonstration Project: Overview and current status. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 84, 1041-1054.
- Ebert, E.E., 2001: Ability of a poor man's ensemble to predict the probability and distribution of precipitation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 129, 2461-2480. See also Ebert, E.E., 2002: CORRIGENDUM. Mon. Wea. Rev., 130, 1661-1663.
- Ebert, E.E. and J.L. McBride, 2000: Verification of precipitation in weather systems: Determination of systematic errors. J. Hydrology, 239, 179-202.
- McBride, J.L. and E.E. Ebert, 2000: Verification of quantitative precipitation forecasts from operational numerical weather prediction models over Australia. Wea. Forecasting, 15, 103-121.
- Ebert, E.E. and Weymouth, G.T., 1999, Incorporating satellite observations of "no rain" in an Australian daily rainfall analysis, J. Appl. Meteor., 38, 44-56.
- Gruber, A., E.C. Barrett, E. Ebert, R.R. Ferraro, G. Huffman, S. Huntrakul, E. Rodgers and P. Xie, 1999: Results of the application of satellite techniques to the estimation of tropical rainfall. In Barrett, E.C. (ed), Estimating the Amount of Rainfall Associated with Tropical Cyclones using Satellite Techniques, WMO/TD No. 975, Rept. No. TCP-42, WMO, Geneva, 294 pp.
- Weymouth, G., Mills, G., Jones, D., Ebert, E. and Manton, M., 1999: A continental-scale daily rainfall analysis scheme, Aust. Met. Mag., 48, 169-179.