Real-Time Performance of a Multi-Model Ensemble-Based Extended Range Forecast System in Predicting the 2014 Monsoon Season Based on NCEP-CFSv2
The real-time validation of any strategy to forecast the Indian summer monsoon rainfall requires comprehensive assessment of performance of the model on sub-seasonal scale. The multi-model ensemble (MME) approach based on the NCEP-CFS version 2 models, as developed and reported earlier, has been employed to forecast the 2014 monsoon season on the extended range scale with 3-4 pentad lead time (where a pentad corresponds to five-day average). The present study reports the broad performance of the MME employed on experimental basis to forecast the salient features of the real-time evolution of the 2014 monsoon season during June to September. The MME is successful in predicting both these features well in advance (3-4 pentad or 15-20 days lead time). The assessment of the model performance at pentad scale lead time shows that the weak monsoon conditions that are evident in precipitation and lower level wind anomalies are well captured as a whole up to four pentad advance lead time. The subseasonal propagation during onset and withdrawal is also evident in the forecast. Finally, the region-wise performance shows that the spatial extent of the skillful forecast encompasses central India as well as the monsoon zone for the 2014 monsoon season. Considering the natural variation in the forecast skill of extended range forecast itself as reported in earlier studies, the 2014 monsoon forecast seems to be skillful for operational purposes. For other regions (e.g. North East India), the forecast could be skillful at times, but it still requires further research on how to improve the same.