For anyone interested, the next EC upgrade is currently planned to go operational 20th June (but may change subject to final evaluations).
This is approx the same time as the next GFS upgrade (originally May but now June from memory).

Some of the highlights (no resolution changes in this upgrade):
* Revamped QC'ing of dropsonde wind data in TC's using its existing 4D Var system (continually ingests obs data over 2 x 12hr periods each day).
* More satellite sounding humidity data from more channels.
* Improved QC'ing of radiosonde and GPS obs data.
* Increased supercooled water content at colder temps in convection.
* Better QC'ing of infrared obs data of hydrogen cyanide from wildfires.

Trial results so far indicate improved skill out to 5 days over the SH and NH.

But from my experience over the years, I find that the majority of upgrades to models don't make a huge noticeable difference in day to day forecasting unless it involves a major revamp of its physics and obs assimilation scheme. Pre-operational test data available through certain sources from later this month.

Meanwhile, here's the latest (but pre-EC upgrade) objective skill score comparisons averaged across 180 runs (during last Dec to this Feb) between some of the main models for 24hr precip out to 10 days in the AU/NZ region. GFS = NCEP (green), EC = red, etc. The higher, the better.
Nothing much has changed re the comparitive rankings since the 80's which is typically the case. Image courtesy of the WMO: