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Min Wen, Song Yang, Augustin Vintzileos, Wayne Higgins, and Renhe Zhang


A series of 60-day hindcasts by the Climate Forecast System (CFS) of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction is analyzed to understand the impacts of atmospheric model resolutions and initial conditions on predictions of the Asian summer monsoon. The experiments, for the time period 2002–06 and with 14 ensemble members, are conducted at resolutions of T62, T126, and T254. They are initialized every 5 days from May to August, using the operational global atmospheric data assimilation system and operational global ocean data assimilation. It is found that, in predicting the magnitude and the timing of monsoon rainfall over lands, high model resolutions overall perform better than lower model resolutions. The increase in prediction skills with model resolution is more apparent over South Asia than over Southeast Asia. The largest improvement is seen over the Tibetan Plateau, at least for precipitation. However, the increase in model resolution does not enhance the skill of the predictions over oceans. Overall, model resolution has larger impacts than do the initial conditions on predicting the development of the Asian summer monsoon in the early season. However, higher model resolutions such as T382 may be needed for the CFS to simulate and predict many features of the monsoon more realistically.

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