Multimodel ensemble ENSO prediction with CCSM and CFS

Ben P. Kirtman, Dughong Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Results are described from a large sample of coupled ocean-atmosphere retrospective forecasts during 1982-98. The prediction system is based on the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3.0), and a state-of-the-art ocean data assimilation system made available by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). The retrospective forecasts are initialized in January, April, July, and November of each year, and ensembles of 6 forecasts are run for each initial month, yielding a total of 408 1-yr predictions. In generating the ensemble members, perturbations are added to the atmospheric initial state only. The skill of the prediction system is analyzed from both a deterministic and a probabilistic perspective, it is then compared to the operational NOAA Climate Forecast System (CFS), and the forecasts are combined with CFS to produce a multimodel prediction system. While the skill scores for each model are highly dependent on lead time and initialization month, the overall level of skill of the individual models is quite comparable. The multimodel combination (i.e., the unweighted average of the forecast), while not always the most skillful, is generally as skillful as the best model, using either deterministic or probabilistic skill metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2908-2930
Number of pages23
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 11 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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