Short-Range and Medium-Range Weather Forecasting in the Extratropics during Wintertime with and without an Interactive Ocean

Jung, Thomas; Vitart, Frederic
July 2006
Monthly Weather Review;Jul2006, Vol. 134 Issue 7, p1972
Academic Journal
The ECMWF monthly forecasting system is used to investigate the impact that an interactive ocean has on short-range and medium-range weather predictions in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics during wintertime. On a hemispheric scale the predictive skill for mean sea level pressure (MSLP) with and without an interactive ocean is comparable. This can be explained by the relatively small impact that coupling has on MSLP forecasts. In fact, deterministic and ensemble integrations reveal that the magnitude of forecast error and the perturbation growth due to analysis uncertainties, respectively, by far outweigh MSLP differences between coupled and uncoupled integrations. Furthermore, no significant difference of the ensemble spread between the uncoupled and coupled system is found. The authors’ conclusions apply equally for a number of cases of rapidly intensifying extratropical cyclones in the North Atlantic region. Further experimentation with different atmospheric model versions, different horizontal atmospheric resolutions, and different ocean model formulation reveals the robustness of the findings. The results suggest that (for the cases, resolutions, and model complexities considered is this study) the benefit of using coupled atmosphere–ocean models to carry out 1–10-day MSLP forecasts is relatively small, at least in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics during wintertime.


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