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Did a skillful prediction of near-surface temperatures help or hinder forecasting of the 2012 US drought?

Title
Did a skillful prediction of near-surface temperatures help or hinder forecasting of the 2012 US drought?
Authors
KAM, JONGHUNKIM, SUNGYOONRoundy, Joshua K.
Date Issued
Feb-2021
Publisher
Institute of Physics Publishing
Abstract
This study aims to understand the role of near surface temperature in the prediction skill for US climate extremes using the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) system. In this study, the forecasting skill was measured by anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) between the observed and forecasted precipitation (PREC)/2-meter air temperature (T2m) anomalies over the contiguous United States (CONUS) during 1982–2012. The strength of the PREC-T2m coupling was measured by ACC between observed PREC and T2m or forecasted PREC and T2m over the CONUS. This study also assessed the NMME forecasting skill for the summers of 2004 (spatial anomaly correlation between PREC and T2m: 0.05), 2011 (-0.65), and 2012 (-0.60) when the PREC-T2m coupling was weaker or stronger than the 1982–2012 climatology (ACC:-0.34). This study found that most of the NMME models show stronger PREC-T2m coupling than the observed coupling over 1982–2012, indicating that they failed to reproduce interannual variability of the observed PREC-T2m coupling. Some NMME models show strong PREC-T2m coupling and a skillful prediction for T2m in 2011 and 2012, leading to a skillful prediction of the precipitation deficits despite the fact that the forecasting skill is year-dependent and model-dependent. Most of the NMME models show the limited seasonal forecasting skill of the PREC surplus in 2004 and thus fail to reproduce weak PREC-T2m coupling. Lastly, this study explored how the role of sea surface temperatures in predicting T2m, PREC, and T2m-PREC coupling. The findings of this study suggest a need for the selective use of the current NMME seasonal forecasts for US droughts and pluvials.
URI
http://oasis.postech.ac.kr/handle/2014.oak/105003
ISSN
1748-9326
Article Type
Article
Citation
Environmental Research Letters, 2021-02
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