Publications associated with Predictability of Weather and Climate

The northern hemisphere circumglobal teleconnection in a seasonal forecast model and its relationship to European summer forecast skill

Climate Dynamics Springer Verlag 52 (2018) 3759–3771-

JD Beverley, SJ Woolnough, LH Baker, SJ Johnson, A Weisheimer

Forecasting seasonal variations in European summer weather represents a considerable challenge. Here, we assess the performance of a seasonal forecasting model at representing a major mode of northern hemisphere summer climate variability, the circumglobal teleconnection (CGT), and the implications of errors in its representation on sea7 sonal forecasts for the European summer (June, July, August). Using seasonal hindcasts initialised at the start of May, we find that the model skill for forecasting the interannual variability of 500 hPa geopotential height is poor, particularly over Europe and several other “centres of action” of the CGT. The model also has a weaker CGT pattern than is observed, particularly in August, when the observed CGT wavetrain is strongest. We investigate several potential causes of this poor skill. First, model variance in geopotential height in west-central Asia (an important region for the maintenance of the CGT) is lower than observed in July and August, associated with a poor representation of the link between this region and Indian monsoon precipitation. Second, analysis of the Rossby wave source shows that the source associated with monsoon heating is both too strong and displaced to the northeast in the model. This is related to errors in monsoon precipitation over the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, where the model has more precipitation than is observed. Third the model jet is systematically shifted northwards by several degrees latitude over large parts of the northern hemisphere, which may affect the propagation characteristics of Rossby waves in the model.

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