Journal of Earth System Science

, Volume 122, Issue 4, pp 991–1004 | Cite as

Lead time for medium range prediction of the dry spell of monsoon using multi-models

  • A JAYAKUMAREmail author

The purpose of this study is to address prediction of the start date and the duration of breaks in the summer monsoon rains using multi-model superensemble. The availability of datasets from the ‘observing system research and predictability experiment (THORPEX)’ initiated a forecast data archive, called THORPEX interactive grand global ensemble (TIGGE), makes it possible to use forecasts from a suite of individual ensemble prediction systems (member models) and to construct multi-model superensemble forecasts that are designed to remove the collective bias errors of the suite of models. Precipitation datasets are important for this study, we have used high resolution daily gridded rainfall dataset of India Meteorological Department (IMD), in addition to rainfall estimates from tropical rainfall microwave mission (TRMM) satellite and the CPC morphing technique (CMORPH). The scientific approach of this study entails the use of a multi-model superensemble for forecast and to verify against the rainfall information during a training phase, as well as during a forecast phase. We examine the results of forecasts out to day-10 and ask how well do forecast strings of day-1 through day-10 handle the prediction of the onset and duration of the breaks in the summer monsoon rains. Our results confirm that it is possible to predict the onset of a dry spell, around week in advance from the use of the multi-model superensemble and a suite of TIGGE models. We also examine trajectories of the parcels arriving in India in such forecasts from member models and from the multi-model superensemble to validate the arrival of descending dry desert air from the Arabian region during the dry spells and its mode of transition from wet spell. Some phenological features such as a shift in the latitude of the tropical easterly jet and changes in its intensity during break periods are additional observed features that are validated from the history of multi-model superensemble forecasts. Invariably this multi-model superensemble performs better than any single model in proving the better forecasts during our experiment period.


THORPEX superensemble CMORPH trajectory 



This study was supported by NSF Grant Number AGS-1047282. The authors sincerely thank TIGGE and THORPEX program for providing the forecast data. They also thank CISL computing support for data service.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Department of MeteorologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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