While scientists are converging on the Indian Ocean, a small team of forecasters from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC), University of Albany (SUNY), the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR), and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) are busy monitoring and creating short-term climate forecasts for the global tropics. This weekly assessment helps the DYNAMO campaign prepare for MJO events, so accurate measurements can be gathered.
Led by Jon Gottschalck, the team of Paul Roundy, Matt Wheeler, Carl Schreck, Matt Rosencrans, Augustin Vintzileos, Michelle L’Heureux, and others come together each Monday via teleconference to discuss the latest observations over the Indian Ocean DYNAMO array and the rest of the global tropics (primarily from 30°N to 30°S). The goal is to generate a short assessment of which tropical climate patterns, or “modes,” are influencing regions of precipitation and tropical cyclogenesis during the next one-to-two week period. This discussion leads to the generation of the “Global Tropical Hazards/Benefits Outlook.”
In order to understand the phenomenon and their impacts, the team considers the observations, such as outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and low-level and upper-level winds, and examines them from several different perspectives (see the previous posting “On the Hovmoeller plot”). They also consider many different forecast tools, based on dynamical models (observations are ingested and equations are solved on large supercomputers) and statistical models (conceptually simpler models based on historical observed relationships). Many scientists on the team have developed web-based resources to help guide the forecast discussion:
The MJO can affect the circulation over the entire globe including the higher latitudes, such as the United States, which is sometimes discussed during the teleconference. Many of the forecasters are currently working with other researchers to investigate how they can use information from the MJO and other tropical waves to improve short-term climate prediction (weeks out to a month) across the globe. Even after the DYNAMO field campaign is over, the MJO briefing and Global Tropical Hazards/Benefit Outlook will continue, and so the team is excited about the potential for the DYNAMO field campaign to new generate insights and breakthroughs that will help improve climate prediction.