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Merits of a 108-Member Ensemble System in ENSO and IOD Predictions

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  • 1 Application Laboratory, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
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Abstract

This paper explores merits of 100-ensemble simulations from a single dynamical seasonal prediction system by evaluating differences in skill scores between ensembles predictions with few (~10) and many (~100) ensemble members. A 100-ensemble retrospective seasonal forecast experiment for 1983–2015 is beyond current operational capability. Prediction of extremely strong ENSO and the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) events is significantly improved in the larger ensemble. It indicates that the ensemble size of 10 members, used in some operational systems, is not adequate for the occurrence of 15% tails of extreme climate events, because only about 1 or 2 members (approximately 15% of 12) will agree with the observations. We also showed an ensemble size of about 50 members may be adequate for the extreme El Niño and positive IOD predictions at least in the present prediction system. Even if running a large-ensemble prediction system is quite costly, improved prediction of disastrous extreme events is useful for minimizing risks of possible human and economic losses.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0193.s1.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Takeshi Doi, takeshi.doi@jamstec.go.jp

Abstract

This paper explores merits of 100-ensemble simulations from a single dynamical seasonal prediction system by evaluating differences in skill scores between ensembles predictions with few (~10) and many (~100) ensemble members. A 100-ensemble retrospective seasonal forecast experiment for 1983–2015 is beyond current operational capability. Prediction of extremely strong ENSO and the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) events is significantly improved in the larger ensemble. It indicates that the ensemble size of 10 members, used in some operational systems, is not adequate for the occurrence of 15% tails of extreme climate events, because only about 1 or 2 members (approximately 15% of 12) will agree with the observations. We also showed an ensemble size of about 50 members may be adequate for the extreme El Niño and positive IOD predictions at least in the present prediction system. Even if running a large-ensemble prediction system is quite costly, improved prediction of disastrous extreme events is useful for minimizing risks of possible human and economic losses.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0193.s1.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Takeshi Doi, takeshi.doi@jamstec.go.jp

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