Publications by Antje Weisheimer

Impact of stochastic physics on tropical precipitation in the coupled ECMWF model

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society Wiley 143 (2016) 852-865

A Subramanian, A Weisheimer, T Palmer, F Vitart, P Bechtold

Uncertainties in parametrized processes in general circulation models can be represented as stochastic perturbations to the model formulation. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has pioneered approaches to represent these model errors in forecasting systems. In particular, the stochastically perturbed physical tendency (SPPT) scheme for the atmosphere is used in their operational ensemble system for medium- and long-range predictions. Recent studies have shown that these stochastic approaches can both increase the reliability of the probabilistic forecasts and reduce long-term mean biases of the model climate. Towards developing a seamless prediction system in the future, these benefits of stochastic parametrization for both short-term and long-term forecasts make it an essential component of the next generation Earth System models. We present results of the impact of different configurations of the SPPT scheme in ECMWF's seasonal forecasting System 4 on the mean and variability in tropical precipitation. Small-scale perturbations in the SPPT scheme play a significant role in reducing the mean biases in tropical precipitation. The stochastic physics also nonlinearly rectify the convection and precipitation during different phases of El Niño Southern Oscillation events and improve the reliability of the ensemble forecasts for the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO). They impact the MJO dynamics by modulating the convective and suppressed phases of the MJO. Finally, we discuss some of the caveats to this analysis and some future prospects.

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