European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA-Interim reanalysis total precipitation estimates are validated against ten years of in situ
precipitation measurements onboard of ships over the Baltic Sea. A statistical analysis for binary forecasts and mean rain rates derived from all data show a good agreement with observations. However, a closer look reveals an underestimation of ERA-Interim total precipitation in spring and an overestimation in autumn, obviously related to stability. Deriving stability and evaporation by a bulk flux scheme it could be shown, in fact, that ERA-Interim underestimates precipitation for conditions with low evaporation and strongly overestimates it for conditions with high evaporation. Since ERA-Interim surface fields become too dry with increasing evaporation compared to independent synoptic ship observations, uncertainties in the ECMWF convection scheme may possibly cause these biases in seasonal precipitation.
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