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Shoupeng Zhu, Xiefei Zhi, Fei Ge, Yi Fan, Ling Zhang, and Jianyun Gao

Abstract

Bridging the gap between weather forecasting and climate prediction, subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) forecasts are of great importance yet currently of relatively poor quality. Using the S2S Prediction Project database, the study evaluates products derived from four operational centers of CMA, KMA, NCEP, and UKMO, and superensemble experiments including the straightforward ensemble mean (EMN), bias-removed ensemble mean (BREM), error-based superensemble (ESUP), and Kalman filter superensemble (KF), in forecasts of surface air temperature with lead times of 6–30 days over northeast Asia in 2018. Validations after the preprocessing of a 5-day running mean suggest that the KMA model shows the highest skill for either the control run or the ensemble mean. The nonequal weighted ESUP is slightly superior to BREM, whereas they both show larger biases than EMN after a lead time of 22 days. The KF forecast constantly outperforms the others, decreasing mean absolute errors by 0.2°–0.5°C relative to EMN. Forecast experiments of the 2018 northeast Asia heat wave reveal that the superensembles remarkably improve the raw forecasts featuring biases of >4°C. The prominent advancement of KF is further confirmed, showing the regionally averaged bias of ≤2°C and the hit rate of 2°C reaching up to 60% at a lead time of 22 days. The superensemble techniques, particularly the KF method of dynamically adjusting the weights in accordance with the latest information available, are capable of improving forecasts of spatiotemporal patterns of surface air temperature on the subseasonal time scale, which could extend the skillful prediction lead time of extreme events such as heat waves to about 3 weeks.

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