The BMRC coupled general circulation model ENSO forecast system

Guomin Wang, Richard Kleeman, Neville Smith, Faina Tseitkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) prediction system with a coupled general circulation model and an ocean data assimilation scheme has been developed at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre (BMRC). The coupled model consists of an R21L9 version of the BMRC climate model and a global version of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory modular ocean general circulation model with resolution focused in the tropical region and 25 vertical levels. A univariate statistical interpolation method, with 10-day data ingestion windows, is used to assimilate ocean temperature data and initialize the coupled model. The coupling procedure does not use any flux corrections. Hindcasts have been carried out for the period 1981-95 for each season (60 in all), for up to a lead time of 12 months. This paper will describe these initial experiments and show that the skill of sea surface temperature (SST) hindcasts in the tropical Pacific is comparable to other published coupled models. The skill of the model is strongest in the central Pacific. SST skill tends to be lower during the earlier 1990s than during 1980's in the eastern Pacific but not in the central Pacific. Since the ENSO SST anomaly in the central Pacific is the most important forcing of regional and global climate anomalies, the high SST prediction skill and its insensitivity over the hindcast period in this region in this model give grounds for optimism in the use of coupled general circulation models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-991
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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