On improving the ability of a high-resolution atmospheric general circulation model for dynamical seasonal prediction of the extreme seasons of the Indian summer monsoon

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The paper is devoted to examine the ability of a high-resolution National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) T170/L42 Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM), for exploring its utility for long-range dynamical prediction of seasonal Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR) based on 5-members ensemble for the hindcast mode 20-year (1985-2004) period with observed global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) as boundary condition and 6-year (2005-2010) period in the forecast-mode with NCEP Coupled Forecast System (CFS) SSTs as boundary condition. ISMR simulations are examined on five day (pentad) rainfall average basis. It is shown that the model simulated ISMR, based on 5-members ensemble average basis had limited skill in simulating extreme ISMR seasons (drought/excess ISMR). However, if the ensemble averaging is restricted to similar ensemble members either in the overall run of pentad-wise below (B) and above (A) normal rainfall events, as determined by the departure for the
threshold value given by coefficient of variability (CV) for the respective pentads based on IMD observed climatology, or during the season as a whole on the basis of percentage anomaly of ISMR from the seasonal climatology, the
foreshadowing of drought/excess monsoon seasons improved considerably. Our strategy of improving dynamical seasonal prediction of ISMR was based on the premise that the intra-seasonal variability (ISV) and intra-annual variability (IAV) are intimately connected and characterized by large scale perturbations westward moving (10-20 day) and northward moving (30-60 day) modes of monsoon ISV during the summer monsoon season. As such the cumulative
excess of B events in the simulated season would correspond to drought season and vice-versa. The paper also examines El Niño-Monsoon connections of the simulated ISMR series and they appear to have improved considerably in the
proposed methodology. This strategy was particularly found to improve for foreshadowing of droughts. Based on results of the study a strategy is proposed for using the matched signal for simulated ISMR based on excess B over A events and vice-versa for drought or excess ISMR category. The probability distribution for the forecast seasonal ISMR on category basis is also proposed to be based on the relative ratio of similar ensemble members and total ensembles on percentage basis. The paper also discusses that extreme monsoon season are produced by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) modes in a combined manner and hence stresses to improve prediction of IOD mode in ocean-atmosphere coupled model just as it has happened for the prediction ENSO mode six to nine months in advance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-360
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


  • Indian summer monsoon rainfall
  • Climate model
  • Seasonal prediction

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