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Subseasonal Predictability of Boreal Summer Monsoon Rainfall from Ensemble Forecasts

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

Subseasonal forecast skill over the broadly defined North American (NAM), West African (WAM) and Asian (AM) summer monsoon regions is investigated using three Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) at sub-monthly lead times. Extended Logistic Regression (ELR) is used to produce probabilistic forecasts of weekly and week 3–4 averages of precipitation with starts in May–Aug, over the 1999–2010 period. The ELR tercile category probabilities for each model gridpoint are then averaged together with equal weight. The resulting Multi-Model Ensemble (MME) forecasts exhibit good reliability, but have generally low sharpness for forecasts beyond 1 week; Multi-model ensembling largely removes negative values of the Ranked Probability Skill Score (RPSS) seen in individual forecasts, and broadly improves the skill obtained in any of the three individual models except for the AM. The MME week 3–4 forecasts have generally higher RPSS and comparable reliability over all monsoon regions, compared to week 3 or week 4 forecast separately. Skill is higher during La Niña compared to El Niño and ENSO-neutral conditions over the 1999–2010 period, especially for the NAM. Regionally averaged RPSS is significantly correlated with the Maden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) for the AM and WAM. Our results indicate potential for skillful predictions at subseasonal time-scales over the three summer monsoon regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

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Frontiers in Environmental Science

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