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Toward an integrated seasonal forecasting system for South America

Coelho, C. A. S., Stephenson, D. B., Balmaseda, M., Doblas-Reyes, F. J. and van Oldenborgh, G. J. (2006) Toward an integrated seasonal forecasting system for South America. Journal Of Climate, 19 (15). pp. 3704-3721. ISSN 1520-0442

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Abstract/Summary

This study proposes an objective integrated seasonal forecasting system for producing well-calibrated probabilistic rainfall forecasts for South America. The proposed system has two components: ( i) an empirical model that uses Pacific and Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies as predictors for rainfall and ( ii) a multimodel system composed of three European coupled ocean - atmosphere models. Three-month lead austral summer rainfall predictions produced by the components of the system are integrated ( i. e., combined and calibrated) using a Bayesian forecast assimilation procedure. The skill of empirical, coupled multimodel, and integrated forecasts obtained with forecast assimilation is assessed and compared. The simple coupled multimodel ensemble has a comparable level of skill to that obtained using a simplified empirical approach. As for most regions of the globe, seasonal forecast skill for South America is low. However, when empirical and coupled multimodel predictions are combined and calibrated using forecast assimilation, more skillful integrated forecasts are obtained than with either empirical or coupled multimodel predictions alone. Both the reliability and resolution of the forecasts have been improved by forecast assimilation in several regions of South America. The Tropics and the area of southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and northern Argentina have been found to be the two most predictable regions of South America during the austral summer. Skillful rainfall forecasts are generally only possible during El Nino or La Nina years rather than in neutral years.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:5145
Uncontrolled Keywords:SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE NORTHEAST BRAZIL EL-NINO PRECIPITATION PATTERNS VERIFICATION CONCEPTS ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE PRACTITIONERS GUIDE BAYESIAN-APPROACH TROPICAL PACIFIC GCM ENSEMBLES
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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