Evaluating tropical cyclone forecasts from the NCEP Global Ensemble Forecasting System (GEFS) Reforecast version 2

Weiwei Li, Zhuo Wang, Melinda S. Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tropical cyclone (TC) forecasts from the NCEP Global Ensemble Forecasting System (GEFS) Reforecast version 2 (1985-2012) were evaluated from the climate perspective, with a focus on tropical cyclogenesis. Although the GEFS captures the climatological seasonality of tropical cyclogenesis over different ocean basins reasonably well, large errors exist on the regional scale. As different genesis pathways are dominant over different ocean basins, genesis biases are related to biases in different aspects of the large-scale or synoptic-scale circulations over different basins. The negative genesis biases over the western North Pacific are associated with a weaker-than-observed monsoon trough in the GEFS, the erroneous genesis pattern over the eastern North Pacific is related to a southward displacement of the ITCZ, and the positive genesis biases near the Cape Verde islands and negative biases farther downstream over the Atlantic can be attributed to the hyperactive Africa easterly waves in the GEFS. The interannual and subseasonal variability of TC activity in the reforecasts was also examined to evaluate the potential skill of the GEFS in providing subseasonal and seasonal predictions. The GEFS skillfully captures the interannual variability of TC activity over the North Pacific and the North Atlantic, which can be attributed to the modulation of TCs by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Atlantic meridional mode (AMM). The GEFS shows promising skill in predicting the active and inactive periods of TC activity over the Atlantic. The skill, however, has large fluctuations from year to year. The analysis presented herein suggests possible impacts of ENSO, the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO), and the AMM on the TC subseasonal predictability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-916
Number of pages22
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Convective parameterization
  • Diagnostics
  • Ensembles
  • Forecast verification/skill
  • Forecasting
  • Hindcasts
  • Models and modeling
  • Operational forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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