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Quantifying Southern Oscillation–Precipitation Relationships from an Atmospheric GCM

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  • 1 National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Climate Prediction Center, NWS/NOAA, Camp Springs, Maryland
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Abstract

This paper is an extension of a study by C. Ropelewski and M. Halpert, which examines observed precipitation relationships with the Southern Oscillation. Here, the authors repeat their analysis using atmospheric general circulation model precipitation from the average of a 13-run ensemble. The GCM is the atmospheric component of the coupled model used for seasonal prediction at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, except that in this study, the observed sea surface temperatures were specified for the ensemble runs. Results are compared and contrasted with the observed Southern Oscillation–related precipitation behavior. These comparisons show that the multiple ensemble simulations compare favorably to the observations for most areas in the Tropics and subtropics. However, outside of the deep Tropics, the model simulations show large shifts or biases in the location of the Southern Oscillation–related anomalies. In particular, anomalies shown by the observations to occur in the southeastern United States are shifted westward in the simulation.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Thomas M. Smith, Analysis Branch, Climate Prediction Center, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, World Weather Building, 5200 Auth Road, Room 605, W/NP52, Camp Springs, MD 20746.

Email: wd52ts@sgi25.wwb.noaa.gov

Abstract

This paper is an extension of a study by C. Ropelewski and M. Halpert, which examines observed precipitation relationships with the Southern Oscillation. Here, the authors repeat their analysis using atmospheric general circulation model precipitation from the average of a 13-run ensemble. The GCM is the atmospheric component of the coupled model used for seasonal prediction at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, except that in this study, the observed sea surface temperatures were specified for the ensemble runs. Results are compared and contrasted with the observed Southern Oscillation–related precipitation behavior. These comparisons show that the multiple ensemble simulations compare favorably to the observations for most areas in the Tropics and subtropics. However, outside of the deep Tropics, the model simulations show large shifts or biases in the location of the Southern Oscillation–related anomalies. In particular, anomalies shown by the observations to occur in the southeastern United States are shifted westward in the simulation.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Thomas M. Smith, Analysis Branch, Climate Prediction Center, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, World Weather Building, 5200 Auth Road, Room 605, W/NP52, Camp Springs, MD 20746.

Email: wd52ts@sgi25.wwb.noaa.gov

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