Climate Dynamics

, Volume 42, Issue 11–12, pp 3357–3374 | Cite as

Dynamical seasonal prediction of Southern African summer precipitation

  • Chaoxia Yuan
  • Tomoki Tozuka
  • Willem A. Landman
  • Toshio Yamagata


Prediction skill for southern African (16°–33°E, 22°–35°S) summer precipitation in the Scale Interaction Experiment-Frontier coupled model is assessed for the period of 1982–2008. Using three different observation datasets, deterministic forecasts are evaluated by anomaly correlation coefficients, whereas scores of relative operating characteristic and relative operating level are used to evaluate probabilistic forecasts. We have found that these scores for December–February precipitation forecasts initialized on October 1st are significant at 95 % confidence level. On a local scale, the level of prediction skill in the northwestern and central parts of southern Africa is higher than that in northeastern South Africa. El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) provides the major source of predictability, but the relationship with ENSO is too strong in the model. The Benguela Niño, the basin mode in the tropical Indian Ocean, the subtropical dipole modes in the South Atlantic and the southern Indian Oceans and ENSO Modoki may provide additional sources of predictability. Within the wet season from October to the following April, the precipitation anomalies in December-February are the most predictable. This study presents promising results for seasonal prediction of precipitation anomaly in the extratropics, where seasonal prediction has been considered a difficult task.


Seasonal prediction Southern African summer precipitation ENSO Coupled general circulation model Relative operating characteristic Relative operating level Reliability diagram 



Constructive comments provided by two anonymous reviewers helped us to improve the earlier manuscript. The SINTEX-F model was run on the Earth Simulator of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. The ARC2 data is downloaded from the data library of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. The present research is supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chaoxia Yuan
    • 1
  • Tomoki Tozuka
    • 2
  • Willem A. Landman
    • 3
    • 4
  • Toshio Yamagata
    • 1
  1. 1.Application LaboratoryJAMSTECYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Natural Resources and the EnvironmentCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and MeteorologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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