Persistence and Predictability Barriers for
the Tropical Indian Ocean Climate
University of Maryland
existence of a boreal spring persistence barrier and a
contemporaneous predictability barrier to forecasting interannual
variability in SST over the equatorial Pacific is well known.
Observations and retrospective forecasts/hindcasts from two
ensemble dynamical forecast systems (NASA/GMAO and NOAA/NCEP CFS)
are used to investigate the existence of similar features over the
tropical Indian Ocean with a view to forecasting Indian Ocean Dipole
events, whose positive phase brings severe drought to Indonesia and
flooding to east Africa. Until recently, a negligible amount of
sub-surface ocean data were available to initialize the Indian Ocean.
As the Indian Ocean Observing System expands, questions arise on
whether there is an upper limit to the predictability of the climate.
The potential predictability of the tropical Indian Ocean climate,
assuming a perfect model/initial conditions/ensemble, is also
using the forecast systems.