A Sea-Ice Albedo Experiment with the NMC Medium Range Forecast Model

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  • 1 National Meteorological Center, Camp Springs, Maryland
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Abstract

The sea-ice albedo treatment currently used in the National Meteorological Center Medium Range Forecast Model was a carryover from earlier models. A more modern treatment is shown to improve forecast skill marginally, as measured by height field anomaly correlation, and to improve substantially the surface temperature field in sea-ice regions. The improvement reduces a systematic bias toward warm temperatures in winter and cold temperatures in summer. Even though the ice retreats once the sun rises, accurate sea-ice albedos are important to the forecast problem.

Abstract

The sea-ice albedo treatment currently used in the National Meteorological Center Medium Range Forecast Model was a carryover from earlier models. A more modern treatment is shown to improve forecast skill marginally, as measured by height field anomaly correlation, and to improve substantially the surface temperature field in sea-ice regions. The improvement reduces a systematic bias toward warm temperatures in winter and cold temperatures in summer. Even though the ice retreats once the sun rises, accurate sea-ice albedos are important to the forecast problem.

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