Weather model verification using Sodankylä mast measurements
Abstract. Sodankylä, in the heart of Arctic Research Centre of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI ARC) in northern Finland, is an ideal site for atmospheric and environmental research in the boreal and sub-Arctic zone. With temperatures ranging from −50 to +30 °C, it provides a challenging testing ground for numerical weather forecasting (NWP) models as well as weather forecasting in general. An extensive set of measurements has been carried out in Sodankylä for more than 100 years. In 2000, a 48 m-high micrometeorological mast was erected in the area. In this article, the use of Sodankylä mast measurements in NWP model verification is described. Starting in 2000, with the NWP model HIRLAM and Sodankylä measurements, the verification system has now been expanded to include comparisons between 12 NWP models and seven measurement masts, distributed across Europe. A case study, comparing forecasted and observed radiation fluxes, is also presented. It was found that three different radiation schemes, applicable in NWP model HARMONIE-AROME, produced somewhat different downwelling longwave radiation fluxes during cloudy days, which however did not change the overall cold bias of the predicted screen-level temperature.