Impact of the QBO on Prediction and Predictability of the MJO Convection
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Impact of the QBO on Prediction and Predictability of the MJO Convection

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
  • Description:
    The impact of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) on the prediction of tropical intraseasonal convection, including the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) and Boreal Summer Intraseasonal Oscillation (BSISO), is assessed in the WMO Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) forecast database using the real-time OLR based MJO (ROMI) index. It is shown that the ROMI prediction skill for the boreal winter MJO, measured by the maximum time at which the anomaly correlation coefficient exceeds 0.6, is higher by 5 to 10 days in the QBO easterly phase than its westerly phase. This difference occurs even in models with low tops and poorly resolved stratospheres. MJO predictability, as measured by signal to noise ratio in the S2S ensemble, also shows a similar difference between the two QBO phases, and results from a simple linear regression model show consistent behavior as well. Analysis of the ROMI index derived from observations indicates that the MJO is more coherent and stronger in the QBO easterly phase than in the westerly phase. These results suggest that the skill dependence on QBO phase results from the initial state of the MJO, the regularity of its propagation in the verifying observations, or most likely a combination of the two, but not on an actual stratospheric influence on the MJO within the model simulations. In contrast to the robust QBO-MJO connection in boreal winter, the BSISO prediction skill exhibited by the S2S models in boreal summer is greater in the QBO westerly phase than in the easterly phase during the 1999 to 2010 period. This is consistent with the observation that BSISO OLR anomalies are stronger in the QBO westerly phase during that period. However, this relationship between the QBO and BSISO in boreal summer changes in recent decades: BSISO is weaker in QBO westerly than easterly during 1979-2000. Correspondingly, the QBO impact on BSISO prediction in boreal summer also reverses in that period as well in a statistical model, whereas this statistical model shows a consistent QBO impact on MJO prediction in boreal winter over the past four decades.
  • Source:
    Journal of Geophysical Research:Atmospheres,124, 11,766–11,782.
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