Assessing North American multimodel ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecast skill to assist in the early warning of hydrometeorological extremes over East Africa

Climate Dynamics
By: , and 

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Abstract

The skill of North American multimodel ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecasts in East Africa (EA), which encompasses one of the most food and water insecure areas of the world, is evaluated using deterministic, categorical, and probabilistic evaluation methods. The skill is estimated for all three primary growing seasons: March–May (MAM), July–September (JAS), and October–December (OND). It is found that the precipitation forecast skill in this region is generally limited and statistically significant over only a small part of the domain. In the case of MAM (JAS) [OND] season it exceeds the skill of climatological forecasts in parts of equatorial EA (Northern Ethiopia) [equatorial EA] for up to 2 (5) [5] months lead. Temperature forecast skill is generally much higher than precipitation forecast skill (in terms of deterministic and probabilistic skill scores) and statistically significant over a majority of the region. Over the region as a whole, temperature forecasts also exhibit greater reliability than the precipitation forecasts. The NMME ensemble forecasts are found to be more skillful and reliable than the forecast from any individual model. The results also demonstrate that for some seasons (e.g. JAS), the predictability of precipitation signals varies and is higher during certain climate events (e.g. ENSO). Finally, potential room for improvement in forecast skill is identified in some models by comparing homogeneous predictability in individual NMME models with their respective forecast skill.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Assessing North American multimodel ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecast skill to assist in the early warning of hydrometeorological extremes over East Africa
Series title Climate Dynamics
DOI 10.1007/s00382-016-3296-z
Edition Online First
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 18 p.
Other Geospatial East Africa