1172 Designing an Optimal Strategy for GMAO S2S Ensemble Forecast

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Anna Borovikov, SSAI, Greenbelt, MD; NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and S. Schubert, J. Marshak, and Y. K. Lim

The NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) Sub-seasonal to Seasonal (S2S) prediction system is being readied for a major upgrade. An important factor in successful extended range forecasting is the definition of the ensemble. Our overall strategy is to run a relatively large ensemble of about 40 members up to 3 months (focusing on the sub-seasonal forecast problem), after which we sub-sample the ensemble, and continue the forecast with about 10 members (up to 12 months). Here we present the results of our testing of various ways to generate the initial perturbations and the validation of a stratified sampling approach for choosing the members of the smaller ensemble.

For the initialization of the ensemble we propose a combination of lagged and burst initial conditions.

To generate perturbations for the burst ensemble members we used scaled differences of pairs of analysis states (chosen randomly from the corresponding season) separated by 1-10 days. We consider perturbing separately the atmosphere and the ocean, or both. By varying the separation times between the analysis states, we are able to produce perturbations that resemble well-known modes of variability. Focusing on the ENSO SST indices, we found that all types of perturbations are important for the ensemble spread with, however, considerable differences in the timing of the impacts on spread for the atmospheric and oceanic perturbations.

Our initial (larger) ensemble size was determined so as to maximize the skill of predicting some of the leading modes of boreal winter atmospheric modes (namely the NAO, PNA and AO). Since it is not feasible for us to run with the larger ensemble beyond about 3 months, we employ a stratified sampling procedure that identifies the emerging directions of error growth to subset the ensemble. By comparing the results from the stratified ensemble with that of the randomly sampled ensemble of the same size, we find that the former provides substantially better estimates than the mean of the original large ensemble.

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