Factors affecting forecast skill of the MJO over the Maritime Continent

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010: 9:45 AM
B215 (GWCC)
Augustin Vintzileos, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/EMC - SAIC, Camp Springs, MD

Similar to most of the state-of-the-art operational forecasting models the NCEP Climate Forecasting System (CFS) is affected by the Maritime Continent Prediction Barrier. In contrast to Nature in which the MJO can sometime collapse as it crosses the Maritime Continent, in the forecast models, the MJO never makes it through this complex area of high terrain and warm sea surface temperatures. In fact, the forecast skill becomes a function of target time corresponding to the crossing of the Maritime Continent, instead of being a function of lead time. In this paper we stratify and composite between observed MJO events that make it or not through the Maritime Continent. We then describe the fundamental processes that differentiate them. We finally revisit these observed events with a series of hindcasts with the CFS which help us to determine the model processes that need to be addressed.