Evaluation of coupled model forecasts of ethiopian highlands summer climate
University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa; Physics Department, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, PR, United States
This study evaluates seasonal forecasts of rainfall and maximum temperature across the Ethiopian highlands from coupled ensemble models in the period 1981-2006, by comparison with gridded observational products (NMA + GPCC/CRU3). Early season forecasts from the coupled forecast system (CFS) are steadier than European community medium range forecast (ECMWF). CFS and ECMWF April forecasts of June-August (JJA) rainfall achieve significant fit (r 2 = 0.27, 0.25, resp.), but ECMWF forecasts tend to have a narrow range with drought underpredicted. Early season forecasts of JJA maximum temperature are weak in both models; hence ability to predict water resource gains may be better than losses. One aim of seasonal climate forecasting is to ensure that crop yields keep pace with Ethiopia's growing population. Farmers using prediction technology are better informed to avoid risk in dry years and generate surplus in wet years. © 2014 Mark R. Jury.