Assessment of the APCC coupled MME suite in predicting the distinctive climate impacts of two flavors of ENSO during boreal winter
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Forecast skill of the APEC Climate Center (APCC) Multi-Model Ensemble (MME) seasonal forecast system in predicting two main types of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), namely canonical (or cold tongue) and Modoki ENSO, and their regional climate impacts is assessed for boreal winter. The APCC MME is constructed by simple composite of ensemble forecasts from five independent coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models. Based on a hindcast set targeting boreal winter prediction for the period 1982–2004, we show that the MME can predict and discern the important differences in the patterns of tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly between the canonical and Modoki ENSO one and four month ahead. Importantly, the four month lead MME beats the persistent forecast. The MME reasonably predicts the distinct impacts of the canonical ENSO, including the strong winter monsoon rainfall over East Asia, the below normal rainfall and above normal temperature over Australia, the anomalously wet conditions across the south and cold conditions over the whole area of USA, and the anomalously dry conditions over South America. However, there are some limitations in capturing its regional impacts, especially, over Australasia and tropical South America at a lead time of one and four months. Nonetheless, forecast skills for rainfall and temperature over East Asia and North America during ENSO Modoki are comparable to or slightly higher than those during canonical ENSO events.
KeywordsEl Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Canonical ENSO ENSO Modoki Seasonal prediction skill Teleconnection Multi-model ensemble (MME) Coupled general circulation model
The authors appreciate the participating institutes of the APCC coupled MME prediction system for providing the hindcast experiment data. Discussion with Prof. B. Wang is acknowledged. J.-B. Ahn was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant CATER 2012-3083. K. Ashok acknowledges the support of Prof. B. N. Goswami, Director, IITM (fully funded by MoES, Government of India), and the MoES for the SAPRISE support under the MoES-NERC grant. Views expressed herein wholly are of the authors and do not reflect the views of the organizations they are affiliated to.
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