Academic Commons


Cross-time scales interactions and rainfall extreme events in southeastern South America for the austral summer. Part II: predictive skill

Muñoz, Ángel G.; Goddard, Lisa M.; Mason, Simon J.; Robertson, Andrew W.

Potential and real predictive skill of the frequency of extreme rainfall in southeastern South America for the December–February season are evaluated in this paper, finding evidence indicating that mechanisms of climate variability at one time scale contribute to the predictability at another scale; that is, taking into account the interference of different potential sources of predictability at different time scales increases the predictive skill. Part I of this study suggested that a set of daily atmospheric circulation regimes, or weather types, was sensitive to these cross–time scale interferences, conducive to the occurrence of extreme rainfall events in the region, and could be used as a potential predictor. At seasonal scale, a combination of those weather types indeed tends to outperform all the other candidate predictors explored (i.e., sea surface temperature patterns, phases of the Madden–Julian oscillation, and combinations of both). Spatially averaged Kendall’s t improvements of 43% for the potential predictability and 23% for real-time predictions are attained with respect to standard models considering sea surface temperature fields alone. A new subseasonal-to-seasonal predictive methodology for extreme rainfall events is proposed based on probability forecasts of seasonal sequences of these weather types. The cross-validated real-time skill of the new probabilistic approach, as measured by the hit score and the Heidke skill score, is on the order of twice that associated with climatological values. The approach is designed to offer useful subseasonal-to-seasonal climate information to decision-makers interested not only in how many extreme events will happen in the season but also in how, when, and where those events will probably occur.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Munoz_AG_etal_2016_29_5915.pdf Munoz_AG_etal_2016_29_5915.pdf application/pdf 2.44 MB Download File

Also Published In

Journal of Climate

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Published Here
March 16, 2020