Multiweek Prediction Skill Assessment of Arctic Sea Ice Variability in the CFSv2
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Multiweek Prediction Skill Assessment of Arctic Sea Ice Variability in the CFSv2

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  • Journal Title:
    Weather and Forecasting
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    Skillful Arctic Sea ice prediction is becoming increasingly important because of its societal, industrial, and economic impacts over the polar regions and potential influence on lower-latitude weather and climate variability. In this work, we evaluate the multiweek forecast skill of Arctic sea ice using the Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2). To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first effort to diagnose and assess the skill of multiweek Arctic sea ice prediction from a coupled atmosphere–ocean model. Analysis of a suite of retrospective 45-day forecasts spanning 1999–2015 shows that CFSv2 captures general features of sea ice concentration (SIC) variability. Total SIC variability is dominated by interannual variability, which accounts for more than 60% of the total variance. Submonthly variability accounts for 29% of the total variance in December, 20% in March and June, and 12.5% in September. We assess the ability of CFSv2 to predict the pan-Arctic SIC, as well as regional SIC in nine Arctic regions. Results show that the SIC prediction skill is highly region dependent (e.g., higher prediction skill for Kara/Barents Seas and lower for the Canadian Archipelago). Overall, the maximum anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) of SIC for both melt and freeze-up seasons is near the marginal zones, and their spatial distribution shows a relationship with the distribution of the variance. If the ACC of 0.5 is taken as the critical value for skillful prediction, the predictability of weekly SIC near the marginal zones is about 5–6 weeks. Prediction skill for Arctic sea ice extent is above 0.6 for the entire six target weeks and has a large contribution from interannual variability.
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    Weather and Forecasting, 33(5), 1453-1476
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