The second phase of the global land-atmosphere coupling experiment: Soil moisture contributions to subseasonal forecast skill

R. D. Koster, S. P.P. Mahanama, T. J. Yamada, Gianpaolo Balsamo, A. A. Berg, M. Boisserie, P. A. Dirmeyer, F. J. Doblas-Reyes, G. Drewitt, C. T. Gordon, Z. Guo, J. H. Jeong, W. S. Lee, Z. Li, L. Luo, S. Malyshev, W. J. Merryfield, S. I. Seneviratne, T. Stanelle, B. J.J.M. Van Den HurkF. Vitart, Eric F. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

200 Scopus citations

Abstract

The second phase of the Global Land-Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE-2) is amulti-institutional numerical modeling experiment focused on quantifying, for boreal summer, the subseasonal (out to two months) forecast skill for precipitation and air temperature that can be derived from the realistic initialization of land surface states, notably soil moisture. An overview of the experiment and model behavior at the global scale is described here, along with a determination and characterization of multimodel "consensus" skill. The models show modest but significant skill in predicting air temperatures, especially where the rain gauge network is dense. Given that precipitation is the chief driver of soil moisture, and thereby assuming that rain gauge density is a reasonable proxy for the adequacy of the observational network contributing to soil moisture initialization, this result indeed highlights the potential contribution of enhanced observations to prediction. Land-derived precipitation forecast skill is much weaker than that for air temperature. The skill for predicting air temperature, and to some extent precipitation, increases with the magnitude of the initial soil moisture anomaly. GLACE-2 results are examined further to provide insight into the asymmetric impacts of wet and dry soil moisture initialization on skill.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-822
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • Coupled models
  • Forecasting
  • Land surface model
  • Precipitation
  • Soil moisture
  • Temperature

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    Koster, R. D., Mahanama, S. P. P., Yamada, T. J., Balsamo, G., Berg, A. A., Boisserie, M., Dirmeyer, P. A., Doblas-Reyes, F. J., Drewitt, G., Gordon, C. T., Guo, Z., Jeong, J. H., Lee, W. S., Li, Z., Luo, L., Malyshev, S., Merryfield, W. J., Seneviratne, S. I., Stanelle, T., ... Wood, E. F. (2011). The second phase of the global land-atmosphere coupling experiment: Soil moisture contributions to subseasonal forecast skill. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 12(5), 805-822. https://doi.org/10.1175/2011JHM1365.1