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How to create an operational multi-model of seasonal forecasts?

Journal: Climate Dynamics
Year: 2020  
Status: Published
In this status since: 15 Jun 2020
Link to PDF: Online paper
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05314-2
S. Hemri, J. Bhend, M.A. Liniger, , S. Siegert, D.B. Stephenson, , A. Brookshaw, F.J. Doblas-Reyes

Seasonal forecasts of variables like near-surface temperature or precipitation are becoming increasingly important for a wide range of stakeholders. Due to the many possibilities of recalibrating, combining, and verifying ensemble forecasts, there are ambiguities of which methods are most suitable. To address this we compare approaches how to process and verify multi-model seasonal forecasts based on a scientific assessment performed within the framework of the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Quality Assurance for Multi-model Seasonal Forecast Products (QA4Seas) contract C3S 51 lot 3. Our results underpin the importance of processing raw ensemble forecasts differently depending on the final forecast product needed. While ensemble forecasts benefit a lot from bias correction using climate conserving recalibration, this is not the case for the intrinsically bias adjusted multi-category probability forecasts. The same applies for multi-model combination. In this paper, we apply simple, but effective, approaches for multi-model combination of both forecast formats. Further, based on existing literature we recommend to use proper scoring rules like a sample version of the continuous ranked probability score and the ranked probability score for the verification of ensemble forecasts and multi-category probability forecasts, respectively. For a detailed global visualization of calibration as well as bias and dispersion errors, using the Chi-square decomposition of rank histograms proved to be appropriate for the analysis performed within QA4Seas.