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Indian summer monsoon onset forecast skill in the UK Met Office initialized coupled seasonal forecasting system (GloSea5-GC2)

Chevuturi, A. ORCID:, Turner, A. G. ORCID:, Woolnough, S. J. ORCID:, Martin, G. M. and MacLachlan, C. (2019) Indian summer monsoon onset forecast skill in the UK Met Office initialized coupled seasonal forecasting system (GloSea5-GC2). Climate Dynamics, 52 (11). pp. 6599-6617. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-018-4536-1


Accurate and precise forecasting of the Indian monsoon is important for the socio-economic security of India, with improvements in agriculture and associated sectors from prediction of the monsoon onset. In this study we establish the skill of the UK Met Office coupled initialized global seasonal forecasting system, GloSea5-GC2, in forecasting Indian monsoon onset. We build on previous work that has demonstrated the good skill of GloSea5 at forecasting interannual variations of the seasonal mean Indian monsoon using measures of large-scale circulation and local precipitation. We analyze the summer hindcasts from a set of three springtime start-dates in late April/early May for the 20-year hindcast period (1992-2011). The hindcast set features at least fifteen ensemble members for each year and is analyzed using five different objective monsoon indices. These indices are designed to examine large and local-scale measures of the monsoon circulation, hydrological changes, tropospheric temperature gradient, or rainfall for single value (area-averaged) or grid-point measures of the Indian monsoon onset. There is significant correlation between onset dates in the model and those found in reanalysis. Indices based on large-scale dynamic and thermodynamic indices are better at estimating monsoon onset in the model rather than local-scale dynamical and hydrological indices. This can be attributed to the model's better representation of large-scale dynamics compared to local-scale features. GloSea5 may not be able to predict the exact date of monsoon onset over India, but this study shows that the model has a good ability at predicting category-wise monsoon onset, using early, normal or late tercile categories. Using a grid-point local rainfall onset index, we note that the forecast skill is highest over parts of central India, the Gangetic plains, and parts of coastal India - all zones of extensive agriculture in India. El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forcing in the model improves the forecast skill of monsoon onset when using a large-scale circulation index, with late monsoon onset coinciding with El Niño conditions and early monsoon onset more common in La Niña years. The results of this study suggest that GloSea5's ensemble-mean forecast may be used for reliable Indian monsoon onset prediction a month in advance despite systematic model errors.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:80594


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