Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A framework for dynamical seasonal prediction of precipitation over the Pacific Islands

Research funded by CPO’s Modeling, Analysis, Prediction, and Projections (MAPP) program was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Climate.

The paper "A Framework for Dynamical Seasonal Prediction of Precipitation over the Pacific Islands," adopted a three-step approach to develop a framework for dynamical seasonal prediction of precipitation over the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) .

First, guided by the climatological features of basic variables, the researchers proposed a view that climates of the USAPI are connected by large-scale phenomena involving the warm pool, South Pacific convergence zone, tropical monsoons, and subtropical anticyclone.  Secondly, they evaluated  prediction skill in ensemble hindcasts performed with the Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), with the hypothesis that ENSO is the leading candidate for large and persisting precipitation departures. Third, moist static energy budget diagnostics are performed to identify physical processes responsible for precipitation anomalies.

The paper found that at leads of 0–6 months, CFSv2 demonstrates useful skill in predicting Niño-3.4 SST and equatorial Pacific precipitation anomalies. During El Niño, positive precipitation anomalies along the central (eastern) equatorial Pacific are anchored by net radiative flux (Frad) and moist advection (evaporation and Frad). The model’s skill in predicting precipitation anomalies over South Pacific (Hawaiian) islands is highest (lowest). Over the west Pacific islands, the skill is low during the rainy season. During El Niño, skill over the USAPI, in particular predicting dryness persistence at long leads is useful. Suppressed precipitation over the Hawaiian and South Pacific (west Pacific) islands are determined by anomalous dry and cold air advection (reduced evaporation and Frad). These processes are local, but are dictated by circulation anomalies forced by ENSO. Model budget estimates are qualitatively consistent with those obtained from reanalysis, boosting confidence for societal benefits. However, observational constraints, as well as budget residuals, pose limitations.

 To view the full paper, visit:

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The Climate Program Office (CPO) manages competitive research programs in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.  CPO-supported research is conducted in regions across the United States, at national and international scales, and globally.  Learn more...

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MAPP Webinar Series: Marine Ecosystems: Forecasting and Projecting Health and Resource Availability

The NOAA CPO Modeling, Analysis, Prediction, and Projections (MAPP) program hosted a webinar on the topic of Marine Ecosystems: Forecasting and Projecting Health and Resource Availability on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. The announcement is provided below; you are invited to remotely join the session.

SARP Webinar Series (December)

Our series on “Climate Information for Managing Risks In Water Resources” is resuming on Tuesday Dec 3rd at 1:30 p.m. ET.  Our first talk will be by Mark Deutschman, Ph.D., PE.  Mark is a civil engineer and Vice President of Houston Engineering.  He will discuss the work he has done with citizen groups in the Klamath Basin in developing a tool to provide climate and water resource data for decision-making.

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