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Original Research Papers

A note on atmospheric predictability

Authors:

Lennart Bengtsson ,

Environmental Systems Science Centre (ESSC), University of Reading, Harry Pitt Building, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AL, GB
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Kevin I. Hodges

Environmental Systems Science Centre (ESSC), University of Reading, Harry Pitt Building, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AL, GB
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Abstract

Using the method of Lorenz (1982), we have estimated the predictability of a recent version of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) model using two different estimates of the initial error corresponding to 6- and 24-hr forecast errors, respectively. For a 6-hr forecast error of the extratropical 500-hPa geopotential height field, a potential increase in forecast skill by more than 3 d is suggested, indicating a further increase in predictability by another 1.5 d compared to the use of a 24-hr forecast error. This is due to a smaller initial error and to an initial error reduction resulting in a smaller averaged growth rate for the whole 7-d forecast. A similar assessment for the tropics using the wind vector fields at 850 and 250 hPa suggests a huge potential improvement with a 7-d forecast providing the same skill as a 1-d forecast now. A contributing factor to the increase in the estimate of predictability is the apparent slow increase of error during the early part of the forecast.

How to Cite: Bengtsson, L. and Hodges, K.I., 2006. A note on atmospheric predictability. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 58(1), pp.154–157. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2006.00156.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2006
 Accepted on 8 Aug 2005            Submitted on 4 Feb 2005

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