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Satoko Matsueda and Yuhei Takaya

Abstract

The authors investigated the influence of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) on extreme warm and cold events, which may have large social and economic impacts. The frequencies of extreme temperature events were analyzed and compared between active and inactive MJO periods by using the 7-day running average of the 850-hPa temperature during the extended boreal winter (November–April). The results show that the frequency of extreme events is significantly modulated (i.e., increased by a factor of more than 2) by the MJO with a time lag over some areas in the extratropics as well as in the tropics. In the extratropics, the modulation of the frequency of the extreme events is roughly associated with midlatitude wave responses to tropical forcing and anomalous lower-level circulation due to the MJO.

The relationship between the MJO and forecast skill of extreme temperature events was also investigated by using a suite of hindcasts made with the operational one-month ensemble prediction system of the Japan Meteorological Agency. Forecast skill of extreme events occurring after active MJO periods tend to be better over some areas, compared with after inactive MJO periods. These results suggest that a realistic representation of the MJO and of the atmospheric response to the MJO in forecast models is important for providing reliable early warning information about extreme events.

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Yuhei Takaya, Naoaki Saito, Ichiro Ishikawa, and Shuhei Maeda

Abstract

This study investigates the influence of sea surface temperature (SST) in the northern tropical Atlantic (NTA) on the Indo–western Pacific summer climate by analyzing record-high NTA SSTs in summer 2010. In that time, a decaying El Niño and developing La Niña were accompanied by widespread anomalous climate conditions in the Indo–western Pacific. These conditions are typical of summers that follow El Niño events and are often explained as being due to the influence of Indian Ocean warming induced by El Niños. Meanwhile, the record-high NTA SSTs that resulted from the influence of El Niño, the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and the interdecadal-and-longer NTA SST variability are one of the possible causes of anomalous conditions in the Indo–western Pacific. The results of sensitivity experiments using a coupled atmosphere–ocean model clearly indicate that the high NTA SSTs had a considerable influence on the summer weather in the Indo–western Pacific via two tropical routes: an eastbound route that involved a reinforcement of the atmospheric equatorial Kelvin wave and a westbound route that involved altering the Walker circulation over the Atlantic–Pacific region. The altered Walker circulation facilitated the transition to La Niña, amplifying the impact on the western North Pacific monsoon. Further evaluation reveals that both the interannual and interdecadal-and-longer variability of the NTA SST contributed to the anomalous Indo–western Pacific summer. The results highlight the interannual to multidecadal predictability of the Indo–western Pacific summer climate that originates in the NTA.

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Toshichika Iizumi, Yuhei Takaya, Wonsik Kim, Toshiyuki Nakaegawa, and Shuhei Maeda

Abstract

Weather and climate variability associated with major climate modes is a main driver of interannual yield variability of commodity crops in global cropland areas. A global crop forecasting service that is currently in the test operation phase is based on temperature and precipitation forecasts, while recent literature suggests that crop forecasting services may benefit from the use of climate index forecasts. However, no consistent comparison is available on prediction skill between yield models relying on forecasts from temperature and precipitation and from climate indices. Here, we present a global assessment of 26-yr (1983–2008) within-season yield anomaly hindcasts for maize, rice, wheat, and soybean derived using different types of statistical yield models. One type of model utilizes temperature and precipitation for individual cropping areas (the TP model type) to represent the current service, whereas the other type relies on large-scale climate indices (the CI model). For the TP models, three specifications with different model complexities are compared. The results show that the CI model is characterized by a small reduction in the skillful area from the reanalysis model to the hindcast model and shows the largest skillful areas for rice and soybean. In the TP models, the skill of the simple model is comparable to that of the more complex models. Our findings suggest that the use of climate index forecasts for global crop forecasting services in addition to temperature and precipitation forecasts likely increases the total number of crops and countries where skillful yield anomaly prediction is feasible.

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William J. Merryfield, Johanna Baehr, Lauriane Batté, Emily J. Becker, Amy H. Butler, Caio A. S. Coelho, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes, Daniela I. V. Domeisen, Laura Ferranti, Tatiana Ilynia, Arun Kumar, Wolfgang A. Müller, Michel Rixen, Andrew W. Robertson, Doug M. Smith, Yuhei Takaya, Matthias Tuma, Frederic Vitart, Christopher J. White, Mariano S. Alvarez, Constantin Ardilouze, Hannah Attard, Cory Baggett, Magdalena A. Balmaseda, Asmerom F. Beraki, Partha S. Bhattacharjee, Roberto Bilbao, Felipe M. de Andrade, Michael J. DeFlorio, Leandro B. Díaz, Muhammad Azhar Ehsan, Georgios Fragkoulidis, Sam Grainger, Benjamin W. Green, Momme C. Hell, Johnna M. Infanti, Katharina Isensee, Takahito Kataoka, Ben P. Kirtman, Nicholas P. Klingaman, June-Yi Lee, Kirsten Mayer, Roseanna McKay, Jennifer V. Mecking, Douglas E. Miller, Nele Neddermann, Ching Ho Justin Ng, Albert Ossó, Klaus Pankatz, Simon Peatman, Kathy Pegion, Judith Perlwitz, G. Cristina Recalde-Coronel, Annika Reintges, Christoph Renkl, Balakrishnan Solaraju-Murali, Aaron Spring, Cristiana Stan, Y. Qiang Sun, Carly R. Tozer, Nicolas Vigaud, Steven Woolnough, and Stephen Yeager

Abstract

Weather and climate variations on subseasonal to decadal time scales can have enormous social, economic, and environmental impacts, making skillful predictions on these time scales a valuable tool for decision-makers. As such, there is a growing interest in the scientific, operational, and applications communities in developing forecasts to improve our foreknowledge of extreme events. On subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) time scales, these include high-impact meteorological events such as tropical cyclones, extratropical storms, floods, droughts, and heat and cold waves. On seasonal to decadal (S2D) time scales, while the focus broadly remains similar (e.g., on precipitation, surface and upper-ocean temperatures, and their effects on the probabilities of high-impact meteorological events), understanding the roles of internal variability and externally forced variability such as anthropogenic warming in forecasts also becomes important. The S2S and S2D communities share common scientific and technical challenges. These include forecast initialization and ensemble generation; initialization shock and drift; understanding the onset of model systematic errors; bias correction, calibration, and forecast quality assessment; model resolution; atmosphere–ocean coupling; sources and expectations for predictability; and linking research, operational forecasting, and end-user needs. In September 2018 a coordinated pair of international conferences, framed by the above challenges, was organized jointly by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP). These conferences surveyed the state of S2S and S2D prediction, ongoing research, and future needs, providing an ideal basis for synthesizing current and emerging developments in these areas that promise to enhance future operational services. This article provides such a synthesis.

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