ECMWF SSW forecast evaluation using infrasound

P. S M Smets*, J. D. Assink, A. Le Pichon, L. G. Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Accurate prediction of Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events is important for the performance of numerical weather prediction due to significant stratosphere-Troposphere coupling. In this study, for the first time middle atmospheric numerical weather forecasts are evaluated using infrasound. A year of near-continuous infrasound from the volcano Mount Tolbachik (Kamchatka, Russian Federation) is compared with simulations using high-resolution deterministic forecasts of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). For the entire time span the nowcast generally performs best, indicated by a higher continuity of the predicted wavefront characteristics with a minimal back azimuth difference. Best performance for all forecasts is obtained in summer. The difference between the infrasound observations and the predictions based on the forecasts is significantly larger during the 2013 SSW period for all forecasts. Simulations show that the SSW onset is better captured by the 10 day forecast while the recovery is better captured by the nowcast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4637-4650
Number of pages14
JournalJournal Of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2016


  • forecast evaluation
  • infrasound
  • middle atmosphere
  • SSW


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