An experimental coupled forecast system at the National Meteorological Center

Coupled Model Project, National Meteorological Center, NOAA/NWS, Washington, D.C. 20233, USA
Tellus (Impact Factor: 2.52). 07/1994; 46(4):398 - 418. DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0870.1994.t01-3-00006.x

ABSTRACT An experimental coupled ocean-atmosphere model forecast system has been implemented at the National Meteorological Center (NMC) for routine multi-season climate forecasts. The ocean initial conditions for the forecasts are provided by an ocean data assimilation system which uses a basin model of the Pacific Ocean integrated with a four-dimensional variational data assimilation system. Pacific basin ocean reanalyses for the period 1982–1992 provided both the initial conditions and the verification fields for the coupled model forecasts. The coupled model consists of a modified T40 version of NMC's operational medium range forecast model coupled to a Pacific basin ocean general circulation model. Hindcast experiments starting on the first of every month from October 1983–1993 have been made to establish the skill of this system in forecasting sea surface temperature variability in the tropical Pacific with lead times of up to several seasons. The system consistently out performs persistence forecasts even at short forecast lead times, and is able to forecast most of the sea surface temperature variability that occurred in the tropical Pacific during 1984–1993.

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    ABSTRACT: This study examines El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) prediction in Project Minerva, a recent collaboration between the Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies (COLA) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The focus is primarily on the impact of the atmospheric horizontal resolution on ENSO prediction, but the effect from different ensemble sizes is also discussed. Particularly, three sets of 7-month hindcasts performed with ECMWF prediction system are compared, starting from 1 May (1 November) during 1982–2011 (1982–2010): spectral T319 atmospheric resolution with 15 ensembles, spectral T639 with 15 ensembles, and spectral T319 with 51 ensembles. The analysis herein shows that simply increasing either ensemble size from 15 to 51 or atmospheric horizontal resolution from T319 to T639 does not necessarily lead to major improvement in the ENSO prediction skill with current climate models. For deterministic prediction skill metrics, the three sets of predictions do not produce a significant difference in either anomaly correlation or root-mean-square error (RMSE). For probabilistic metrics, the increased atmospheric horizontal resolution generates larger ensemble spread, and thus increases the ratio between the intraensemble spread and RMSE. However, there is little change in the categorical distributions of predicted SST anomalies, and consequently there is little difference among the three sets of hindcasts in terms of probabilistic metrics or prediction reliability.
    Journal of Climate 03/2015; 28(5):2080-2095. DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00302.1 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the impact of ocean initial conditions (OIC) on the prediction skill in the tropical Pacific Ocean is examined. Four sets of OIC are used to initialize the 12-month hindcasts of the tropical climate from 1979 to 2007, using the Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), the current operational climate prediction model at the National Centers for Environmental Predictions (NCEP). These OICs are chosen from four ocean analyses produced by the NCEP and the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). For each hindcast starting from a given OIC, four ensemble members are generated with different atmosphere and land initial states. The predictive skill in the tropical Pacific Ocean is assessed based on the ensemble mean hindcasts from each individual as well as multiple oceanic analyses. To reduce the climate drift from various oceanic analyses, an anomaly initialization strategy is used for all hindcasts. The results indicate that there exists a substantial spread in the sea surface temperature (SST) prediction skill with different ocean analyses. Specifically, the ENSO prediction skill in terms of the anomaly correlation of Niño-3.4 index can differ by as much as 0.1-0.2 at lead times longer than 2 months. The ensemble mean of the predictions initialized from all four ocean analyses gives prediction skill equivalent to the best one derived from the individual ocean analysis. It is suggested that more accurate OIC can improve the ENSO prediction skill and an ensemble ocean initialization has the potential of enhancing the skill at the present stage.
    Geophysical Research Letters 05/2012; 39(L09602). DOI:10.1029/2012GL051503 · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed current status of multi-model ensemble (MME) deterministic and probabilistic seasonal prediction based on 25-year (1980–2004) retrospective forecasts performed by 14 climate model systems (7 one-tier and 7 two-tier systems) that participate in the Climate Prediction and its Application to Society (CliPAS) project sponsored by the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Climate Center (APCC). We also evaluated seven DEMETER models’ MME for the period of 1981–2001 for comparison. Based on the assessment, future direction for improvement of seasonal prediction is discussed. We found that two measures of probabilistic forecast skill, the Brier Skill Score (BSS) and Area under the Relative Operating Characteristic curve (AROC), display similar spatial patterns as those represented by temporal correlation coefficient (TCC) score of deterministic MME forecast. A TCC score of 0.6 corresponds approximately to a BSS of 0.1 and an AROC of 0.7 and beyond these critical threshold values, they are almost linearly correlated. The MME method is demonstrated to be a valuable approach for reducing errors and quantifying forecast uncertainty due to model formulation. The MME prediction skill is substantially better than the averaged skill of all individual models. For instance, the TCC score of CliPAS one-tier MME forecast of Niño 3.4 index at a 6-month lead initiated from 1 May is 0.77, which is significantly higher than the corresponding averaged skill of seven individual coupled models (0.63). The MME made by using 14 coupled models from both DEMETER and CliPAS shows an even higher TCC score of 0.87. Effectiveness of MME depends on the averaged skill of individual models and their mutual independency. For probabilistic forecast the CliPAS MME gains considerable skill from increased forecast reliability as the number of model being used increases; the forecast resolution also increases for 2m temperature but slightly decreases for precipitation. Equatorial Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies are primary sources of atmospheric climate variability worldwide. The MME 1-month lead hindcast can predict, with high fidelity, the spatial–temporal structures of the first two leading empirical orthogonal modes of the equatorial SST anomalies for both boreal summer (JJA) and winter (DJF), which account for about 80–90% of the total variance. The major bias is a westward shift of SST anomaly between the dateline and 120°E, which may potentially degrade global teleconnection associated with it. The TCC score for SST predictions over the equatorial eastern Indian Ocean reaches about 0.68 with a 6-month lead forecast. However, the TCC score for Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index drops below 0.40 at a 3-month lead for both the May and November initial conditions due to the prediction barriers across July, and January, respectively. The MME prediction skills are well correlated with the amplitude of Niño 3.4 SST variation. The forecasts for 2m air temperature are better in El Niño years than in La Niña years. The precipitation and circulation are predicted better in ENSO-decaying JJA than in ENSO-developing JJA. There is virtually no skill in ENSO-neutral years. Continuing improvement of the one-tier climate model’s slow coupled dynamics in reproducing realistic amplitude, spatial patterns, and temporal evolution of ENSO cycle is a key for long-lead seasonal forecast. Forecast of monsoon precipitation remains a major challenge. The seasonal rainfall predictions over land and during local summer have little skill, especially over tropical Africa. The differences in forecast skills over land areas between the CliPAS and DEMETER MMEs indicate potentials for further improvement of prediction over land. There is an urgent need to assess impacts of land surface initialization on the skill of seasonal and monthly forecast using a multi-model framework.
    Climate Dynamics 07/2009; 33(1):93-117. DOI:10.1007/s00382-008-0460-0 · 4.62 Impact Factor