Evaluation of the North American Multi-Model Ensemble System for Monthly and Seasonal Prediction

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Qin Zhang, CPC NCEP, College Park, MD, United States
Since August 2011, the real time seasonal forecasts of the U.S. National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) have been made on 8th of each month by NCEP Climate Prediction Center (CPC). The participating models were NCEP/CFSv1&2, GFDL/CM2.2, NCAR/U.Miami/COLA/CCSM3, NASA/GEOS5, IRI/ ECHAM-a & ECHAM-f in the first year of the real time NMME forecast. Two Canadian coupled models CMC/CanCM3 and CM4 joined in and CFSv1 and IRI’s models dropped out in the second year. The NMME team at CPC collects monthly means of three variables, precipitation, temperature at 2m and sea surface temperature from each modeling center on a 1x1 global grid, removes systematic errors, makes the grand ensemble mean in equal weight for each model mean and probability forecast with equal weight for each member of each model. This provides the NMME forecast locked in schedule for the CPC operational seasonal and monthly outlook. The basic verification metrics of seasonal and monthly prediction of NMME are calculated as an evaluation of skill, including both deterministic and probabilistic forecasts for the 3-year real time (August, 2011- July 2014) period and the 30-year retrospective forecast (1982-2011) of the individual models as well as the NMME ensemble. The motivation of this study is to provide skill benchmarks for future improvements of the NMME seasonal and monthly prediction system. We also want to establish whether the real time and hindcast periods (used for bias correction in real time) are consistent. The experimental phase I of the project already supplies routine guidance to users of the NMME forecasts.