Project aims

The work-package’s aim is to enhance the capabilities of the verification tool (CES plug-in) which has been developed during the first phase of MiKlip. This comprises the introduction of new methods both on the satellite side and the dynamically oriented verification using classical variables. Satellite simulators will be developed to obtain virtual satellite observations (e.g. brightness temperatures, radar reflectivities) from the forecast system. The approach enables an evaluation in the instrument’s parameter space which reduces uncertainties on the side of the observational data. The work package also focuses on the development of probabilistic verification methods applicable to decadal predictions and  the analysis of dynamical processes in the coupled atmosphere-ocean system relevant for decadal predictions. An overall project aim is the preparation towards an operational verification of the MiKlip system.

Project structure

The work-package constitutes a joint project of DWD and MIUB. DWD focuses on the provision and utilization of satellite data. MIUB contributes by analysis of dynamical processes and the development and application of probabilistic evaluation methods. Satellite simulators and CDRs will be provided within the first phase of the project. Results of dynamical analysis will be provided to support the further development of the probabilistic evaluation methods. The preparation towards an operational verification covers the complete lifetime of the work-package.

Tasks of the project

The project tasks are (i) the provision of high quality satellite based data (mature CDRs), (ii) the development of a satellite simulator for microwave imagers, (iii) the analysis of circulation dependencies, (iv) event based conditional sampling,  (v) the introduction of ensemble Kernel dressing (EKD), (vi) hindcast verification and (vii) initial operationalization of the verification plug-in for the CES.


Satellite simulators for passive microwave imagers (SSM/I and SSMIS) will be delivered applicable to MPI-ESM and suited for hindcast evaluation. Moreover, the work-package will provide high quality observational data obtained from satellite measurements. These data constitute mature climate data records (CDRs) and will be provided in NetCDF (CMOR conform) for the CES. The verification plug-in for the CES will be upgraded by the introduction of Kernel dressing methods. Moreover, event based/conditional sampling methods for analysis of tropical and extratropical circulation patterns utilizing satellite data will be incorporated.  The satellite simulator and the verification-plugin will be used for hindcast evaluation. Moreover, an initial operational version of the verification plug-in for the CES will be provided.

Progress so far

Probabilistic evaluation methods are further developed and applied to assess the predictive skill of the decadal hindcasts performed within MiKlip. Furthermore, a satellite simulator has been developed for the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and for the Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder (SSMIS) utilizing the CFMIP Observation Simulator Package (COSP). The simulator is applied to the MiKlip II pre-operational hindcasts to evaluate the climatological and predictive skill of the system. The focus is on simulated brightness temperatures for selected channels which are sensitive to water vapor and to precipitation. On the reference side the SSM/I & SSMIS Fundamental Climate Data Record (FCDR) provided by the CM SAF (DOI: 10.5676/EUM_SAF_CM/FCDR_MWI/V003) is used which covers the period from 1978 to 2015.

First results obtained for the COSP SSM/I & SSMIS satellite simulator applied to the MiKlip II pre-operational system are restricted to the period 1996-2008 but the analysis is currently extended to cover the full observational period. Simulated brightness temperatures resemble the general structure and amplitude of the observations for multi-year time averages. First probabilistic evaluation results of brightness temperatures indicate potential predictive skill for equatorial ocean areas even beyond lead year 1 when comparing against climatology as a reference forecast.


German Meteorological Service (DWD)
Dr. Thomas Spangehl
+49 (0)69 8062 2504

Dr. Marc Schröder (PI)
+49 (0)69 8062 4939

Meteorological Institute, University of Bonn (MIUB)
Dr. Rita Glowienka-Hense
+49 (0)228 73 5187

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hense
+49 (0)228 73 5184

Evaluation of the MiKlip decadal prediction system using satellite based cloud products

2015 - Meteorologische Zeitschrift, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 695-707

Spangehl, T. | M. Schröder, S. Stolzenberger, R. Glowienka-Hense, A. Mazurkiewicz, and A. Hense

Revealing skill of the MiKlip decadal prediction system by three-dimensional probabilistic evaluation

2015 - Meteorologische Zeitschrift,, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 657-671

Stolzenberger, S. | R. Glowienka-Hense, T. Spangehl, M. Schröder, A. Mazurkiewicz, and A. Hense