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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recent Utility of Noaa/cpc Seasonal Precipitation Climate Forecasts

Authors
item Schneider, Jeanne
item Garbrecht, Jurgen

Submitted to: American Society of Civil Engineers
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2004
Publication Date: October 15, 2005
Citation: Schneider, J.M., Garbrecht, J.D. 2005. Recent utility of NOAA/CPC seasonal precipitation climate forecasts. In: Garbrecht, J.D., Piechota, T.C., editors. Climate Variations, Climate Change, and Water Resources Engineering. Reston, VA:American Society of Civil Engineers. p. 51-64.

Interpretive Summary: Experimental climate forecasts for 3-month total precipitation are issued monthly by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. These forecasts are expected to support a wide range of applications in water resources management. This book chapter examines the potential utility of the precipitation forecasts issued in 1997 through 2001. This initial assessment suggests that for much of the Great Plains, the Midwest, Appalachia, the Mid-Atlantic states, and the Northeast the precipitation forecasts predict mostly small and infrequent departures from normal conditions. On the other hand, regions that are commonly identified as being strongly impacted by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnection enjoy more frequent predictions of larger departures from normal conditions. These regions include the Desert Southwest, California and the Pacific Northwest, and along the Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts. We believe that the water resources engineering community may be more successful in developing useful applications of the precipitation forecasts in these latter regions.

Technical Abstract: Experimental climate forecasts for 3-month total precipitation are issued monthly by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. These forecasts are expected to support a wide range of applications in water resources management. This book chapter attempts to shed some light on the level of utility of the precipitation forecasts by examining the performance of past precipitation forecasts issued in 1997 through 2001. A general and initial assessment suggests that for much of the Great Plains, the Midwest, Appalachia, the Mid-Atlantic states, and the Northeast the precipitation forecasts offer mostly small and infrequent departures from normal conditions. On the other hand, regions that are commonly identified as being strongly impacted by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnection are associated with precipitation forecasts that have a higher level of potential utility by offering more frequent and larger forecasts of departures from normal conditions. These regions include the Desert Southwest, California and the Pacific Northwest, and along the Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts. We believe that the water resources engineering community may be more successful in developing useful applications of the precipitation forecasts in these latter regions.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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