The very strong 199798 El Nio was the first major event in which numerous forecasting groups participated in its real-time prediction. A previously developed simple statistical toolthe El NioSouthern Oscillation Climatology and Persistence (ENSOCLIPER) modelis utilized as a baseline for determination of skill in forecasting this event. Twelve statistical and dynamical models were available in real time for evaluation. Some of the models were able to outperform ENSOCLIPER in predicting either the onset or the decay of the 199798 El Nio, but none were successful at both for a medium-range two season (68 months) lead time. There were no models, including ENSOCLIPER, able to anticipate even one-half of the actual amplitude of the El Nio's peak at medium-range (611 months) lead. In addition, none of the models showed skill (i.e., lower root-mean-square error than ENSOCLIPER) at the zero season (02 months) through the two season (68 months) lead times. No dynamical model and only two of the statistical models the canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and the constructed analog (ANALOG) outperformed ENSOCLIPER by more than 5 of the root-mean-square error at the three season (911 months) and four season (1214 months) lead time. El Nio impacts were correctly anticipated by national meteorological centers one half-year in advance, because of the tendency for El Nio events to persist into and peak during the boreal winter. Despite this, the zero to two season (08 month) forecasts of the El Nio event itself were no better than ENSOCLIPER and were, in that sense, not skillfula conclusion that remains unclear to the general meteorological and oceanographic communities.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 28, 2000
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