Diagnostic Evaluation of NMME Precipitation and Temperature Forecasts for the Continental United States
In this work we evaluate the skill of four global circulation models (GCMs) part of the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) project in forecasting seasonal precipitation and temperature over the continental United States. The GCMs we consider are the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL)-CM2.1, NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (NASA-GMAO)-GEOS-5, The Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies – Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (COLA-RSMAS)-CCSM3, Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis (CCCma) - CanCM4. These models are available at a resolution of 1-degree and monthly, with a minimum forecast lead time of nine months, up to one year. These model ensembles are compared against gridded monthly temperature and precipitation data created by the PRISM Climate Group, which represent the reference observation dataset in this work.
Aspects of forecast quality are quantified using a diagnostic skill score decomposition that allows the evaluation of the potential skill and conditional and unconditional biases associated with these forecasts. The evaluation of the decomposed GCM forecast skill over the continental United States, by season and by lead time allows for a better understanding of the utility of these models for flood and drought predictions. Moreover, it also represents a diagnostic tool that could provide model developers feedback about strengths and weaknesses of their models.