Improved seasonal prediction of temperature and precipitation over land in a high-resolution GFDL climate model

Liwei Jia, Xiaosong Yang, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Richard G. Gudgel, Thomas L. Delworth, Anthony Rosati, William F. Stern, Andrew T. Wittenberg, Lakshmi Krishnamurthy, Shaoqing Zhang, Rym Msadek, Sarah Kapnick, Seth Underwood, Fanrong Zeng, Whit G. Anderson, Venkatramani Balaji, Keith Dixon

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104 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study demonstrates skillful seasonal prediction of 2-m air temperature and precipitation over land in a new high-resolution climatemodel developed by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and explores the possible sources of the skill. The authors employ a statistical optimization approach to identify the most predictable components of seasonal mean temperature and precipitation over land and demonstrate the predictive skill of these components. First, the improved skill of the high-resolution model over the previous lowerresolution model in seasonal prediction of the Niño-3.4 index and other aspects of interest is shown. Then, the skill of temperature and precipitation in the high-resolution model for boreal winter and summer is measured, and the sources of the skill are diagnosed. Last, predictions are reconstructed using a few of the most predictable components to yield more skillful predictions than the raw model predictions. Over three decades of hindcasts, the two most predictable components of temperature are characterized by a component that is likely due to changes in external radiative forcing in borealwinter and summer and anENSO-related pattern in borealwinter. The most predictable components of precipitation in both seasons are very likely ENSO-related. These components of temperature and precipitation can be predicted with significant correlation skill at least 9 months in advance. The reconstructed predictions using only the first few predictable components from the model show considerably better skill relative to observations than raw model predictions. This study shows that the use of refined statistical analysis and a high-resolution dynamical model leads to significant skill in seasonal predictions of 2-m air temperature and precipitation over land.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2044-2062
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • Climate prediction
  • Forecast verification/skill
  • Seasonal forecasting

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    Jia, L., Yang, X., Vecchi, G. A., Gudgel, R. G., Delworth, T. L., Rosati, A., Stern, W. F., Wittenberg, A. T., Krishnamurthy, L., Zhang, S., Msadek, R., Kapnick, S., Underwood, S., Zeng, F., Anderson, W. G., Balaji, V., & Dixon, K. (2015). Improved seasonal prediction of temperature and precipitation over land in a high-resolution GFDL climate model. Journal of Climate, 28(5), 2044-2062. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00112.1