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When and where do ECMWF seasonal forecast systems exhibit anomalously low signal‐to‐noise ratio?

Charlton-Perez, A. J., Bröcker, J., Stockdale, T. N. and Johnson, S. (2019) When and where do ECMWF seasonal forecast systems exhibit anomalously low signal‐to‐noise ratio? Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 145 (725). pp. 3466-3478. ISSN 1477-870X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/qj.3631

Abstract/Summary

Seasonal predictions of wintertime climate in the Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes, while showing clear correlation skill, suffer from anomalously low signal‐to‐noise ratio. The low signal‐to‐noise ratio means that forecasts need to be made with large ensemble sizes and require significant post‐processing to correct the forecast distribution. In this study, a recently introduced statistical model of seasonal climate predictability is adapted so that it can be used to examine the signal‐to‐noise ratio in two versions of the ECMWF seasonal forecast system. Three novel features of the low signal‐to‐noise ratio are revealed. The low signal‐to‐noise ratio is present only for forecasts initialized on 1 November and not for forecasts initialized on 1 December. The low signal‐to‐noise ratio is predominantly a feature of the lower and middle troposphere and is not present in the stratosphere. The low signal‐to‐noise ratio is linked to low signal amplitude of the forecast systems in early winter. Future studies attempting to examine the signal‐to‐noise ratio should focus on the extent to which this early winter variability is predictable.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:87447
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society

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