Evaluation of IRI's seasonal climate forecasts for the extreme 15% tails

Barnston, Anthony G.; Mason, Simon J.

This paper evaluates the quality of real-time seasonal probabilistic forecasts of the extreme 15% tails of the climatological distribution of temperature and precipitation issued by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) from 1998 through 2009. IRI’s forecasts have been based largely on a two-tiered multimodel dynamical prediction system. Forecasts of the 15% extremes have been consistent with the corresponding probabilistic forecasts for the standard tercile-based categories; however, nonclimatological forecasts for the extremes have been issued sparingly. Results indicate positive skill in terms of resolution and discrimination for the extremes forecasts, particularly in the tropics. Additionally, with the exception of some overconfidence for extreme above-normal precipitation and a strong cool bias for temperature, reliability analyses suggest generally good calibration. Skills for temperature are generally higher than those for precipitation, due both to correct forecasts of increased probabilities of extremely high (above the upper 15th percentile) temperatures associated with warming trends, and to better discrimination of interannual variability. However, above-normal temperature extremes were substantially underforecast, as noted also for the IRI’s tercile forecasts.


  • thumnail for Barnston_AG_SJ_Mason_2011_WAF_26_545.pdf Barnston_AG_SJ_Mason_2011_WAF_26_545.pdf application/pdf 1.03 MB Download File

Also Published In

Weather and Forecasting

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Published Here
February 7, 2020