Forecast skill from dynamical forecast models decreases quickly with projection time due to various errors. Therefore, postprocessing methods, from simple bias correction methods to more complicated multiple linear regression–based model output statistics, are used to improve raw model forecasts. Usually, these methods show clear forecast improvement over the raw model forecasts, especially for short-range weather forecasts. However, linear approaches have limitations because the relationship between predictands and predictors may be nonlinear. This is even truer for extended range forecasts, such as week-3–4 forecasts. In this study, neural network techniques are used to seek or model the relationships between a set of predictors and predictands, and eventually to improve week-3–4 precipitation and 2-m temperature forecasts made by the NOAA/NCEP Climate Forecast System. Benefitting from advances in machine learning techniques in recent years, more flexible and capable machine learning algorithms and availability of big datasets enable us not only to explore nonlinear features or relationships within a given large dataset, but also to extract more sophisticated pattern relationships and covariabilities hidden within the multidimensional predictors and predictands. Then these more sophisticated relationships and high-level statistical information are used to correct the model week-3–4 precipitation and 2-m temperature forecasts. The results show that to some extent neural network techniques can significantly improve the week-3–4 forecast accuracy and greatly increase the efficiency over the traditional multiple linear regression methods.
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This article is included in the The 1st NOAA Workshop on Leveraging AI in the Exploitation of Satellite Earth Observations & Numerical Weather Prediction Special Collection.