Predictive Skill and Predictable Patterns of the U.S. Seasonal Precipitation in CFSv2 Reforecasts of 60 Years (1958–2017)
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Predictive Skill and Predictable Patterns of the U.S. Seasonal Precipitation in CFSv2 Reforecasts of 60 Years (1958–2017)

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Climate
  • Description:
    Analyzing a set of ensemble seasonal reforecasts for 1958–2017 using CFSv2, we evaluate the predictive skill of the U.S. seasonal mean precipitation and examine its sources of predictability. Our analysis is for each of the three periods of 1958–78, 1979–99, and 2000–17, corresponding to the positive phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) during 1979–99 and negative ones before and after. The ensemble reforecasts at two-month lead reproduce the spatial distribution of winter precipitation trends throughout the 60 years and the continental-scale increase of summer precipitation since 2000. The predicted signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio also reveals greater predictability in the post-1979 period than during 1958–78. A maximized S/N ratio EOF analysis is applied to the ensemble seasonal precipitation predictions. In winter and spring, the most predictable patterns feature a north–south dipole throughout United States. The summer and fall patterns are dominated by the anomalies in central and southern United States, respectively. In verification with observations, the winter–spring patterns are more skillful. ENSO influences on these predictable patterns are most dominant in winter and spring, but other oceanic factors also play an active role during summer and fall. The multidecadal change of the U.S. precipitation predictability is attributable to the low-frequency modulation of the ENSO predictability and the influences of other major climate modes. PDO can be a dominant factor associated with enhanced prediction skill in 1979–99 and reduced skill in 1958–78. Since the 2000s, the forcing from the SST anomalies in the tropical North Atlantic with opposite sign to those in the tropical Pacific becomes a significant factor for the U.S. summer precipitation prediction.
  • Source:
    Journal of Climate, 32(24), 8603-8637
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