The present study describes an analysis of Asian summer monsoon forecasts with an operational general circulation model (GCM) of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), U.K. An attempt is made to examine the influence of improved treatment of physical processes on the reduction of systematic errors. As some of the major changes in the parameterization of physical processes, such as modification to the infrared radiation scheme, deep cumulus convection scheme, introduction of the shallow convection scheme etc., were introduced during 1985–88, a thorough systematic error analysis of the ECMWF monsoon forecasts is carried out for a period prior to the incorporation of such changes i.e. summer monsoon season (June–August) of 1984, and for the corresponding period after relevant changes were implemented (summer monsoon season of 1988).
Monsoon forecasts of the ECMWF demonstrate an increasing trend of forecast skill after the implementation of the major changes in parameterizations of radiation, convection and land-surface processes. Further, the upper level flow is found to be more predictable than that of the lower level and wind forecasts display a better skill than temperature. Apart from this, a notable increase in the magnitudes of persistence error statistics indicates that the monsoon circulation in the analysed fields became more intense with the introduction of changes in the operational forecasting system.
Although, considerable reduction in systematic errors of the Asian summer monsoon forecasts is observed (up to day-5) with the introduction of major changes in the treatment of physical processes, the nature of errors remain unchanged (by day-10). The forecast errors of temperature and moisture in the middle troposphere are also reduced due to the changes in treatment of longwave radiation. Moreover, the introduction of shallow convection helped it further by enhancing the vertical transports of heat and moisture from the lower troposphere. Though, the hydrological cycle in the operational forecasts appears to have enhanced with the major modifications and improvements to the physical parameterization schemes, certain regional peculiarities have developed in the simulated rainfall distribution over the monsoon region. Hence, this study suggests further attempts to improve the formulations of physical processes for further reduction of systematic forecast errors.
Volume 129, 2020
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