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Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 12, pp 7447–7460 | Cite as

Seasonal drought ensemble predictions based on multiple climate models in the upper Han River Basin, China

  • Feng Ma
  • Aizhong YeEmail author
  • Qingyun Duan
Article

Abstract

An experimental seasonal drought forecasting system is developed based on 29-year (1982–2010) seasonal meteorological hindcasts generated by the climate models from the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) project. This system made use of a bias correction and spatial downscaling method, and a distributed time-variant gain model (DTVGM) hydrologic model. DTVGM was calibrated using observed daily hydrological data and its streamflow simulations achieved Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency values of 0.727 and 0.724 during calibration (1978–1995) and validation (1996–2005) periods, respectively, at the Danjiangkou reservoir station. The experimental seasonal drought forecasting system (known as NMME-DTVGM) is used to generate seasonal drought forecasts. The forecasts were evaluated against the reference forecasts (i.e., persistence forecast and climatological forecast). The NMME-DTVGM drought forecasts have higher detectability and accuracy and lower false alarm rate than the reference forecasts at different lead times (from 1 to 4 months) during the cold-dry season. No apparent advantage is shown in drought predictions during spring and summer seasons because of a long memory of the initial conditions in spring and a lower predictive skill for precipitation in summer. Overall, the NMME-based seasonal drought forecasting system has meaningful skill in predicting drought several months in advance, which can provide critical information for drought preparedness and response planning as well as the sustainable practice of water resource conservation over the basin.

Keywords

Seasonal drought forecasting system NMME DTVGM Soil moisture Han River basin 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41475093), the Intergovernmental Key International S&T Innovation Cooperation Program (No. 2016YFE0102400) and the State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather Open Research Program (No. 2015LASW-A05).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Land Surface System and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geographical ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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