Multimodel Ensembling of Subseasonal Precipitation Forecasts over North America

Vigaud, Nicolas; Robertson, Andrew W.; Tippett, Michael K.

Probabilistic forecasts of weekly and week 3–4 averages of precipitation are constructed using extended logistic regression (ELR) applied to three models (ECMWF, NCEP, and CMA) from the Subseasonal-to- Seasonal (S2S) project. Individual and multimodel ensemble (MME) forecasts are verified over the common period 1999–2010. The regression parameters are fitted separately at each grid point and lead time for the three ensemble prediction system (EPS) reforecasts with starts during January–March and July–September. The ELR produces tercile category probabilities for each model that are then averaged with equal weighting. The resulting MME forecasts are characterized by good reliability but low sharpness. A clear benefit of multimodel ensembling is to largely remove negative skill scores present in individual forecasts. The forecast skill of weekly averages is higher in winter than summer and decreases with lead time, with steep decreases after one and two weeks. Week 3–4 forecasts have more skill along the U.S. East Coast and the southwestern United States in winter, as well as over west/central U.S. regions and the intra-American sea/east Pacific during summer. Skill is also enhanced when the regression parameters are fit using spatially smoothed ob- servations and forecasts. The skill of week 3–4 precipitation outlooks has a modest, but statistically significant, relation with ENSO and the MJO, particularly in winter over the southwestern United States.


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Monthly Weather Review

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