Seasonal prediction of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall using canonical correlation analysis of the NCMRWF global model products


U. C. Mohanty, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. E-mail:


In this study, canonical correlation analysis (CCA) has been used to statistically downscale the seasonal predictions of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR) from a global spectral model. An extensive diagnostic study of the global model products and observed data for the period 1981–2008 indicates that while the predictions of rainfall anomalies have poor skill, the mean flow patterns are brought out reasonably well by the model. The model precipitation is found to be more strongly dependent on sea surface temperature over the Nino regions in the Pacific Ocean. However, the observed precipitation has a stronger links to winds at 850 hPa near the Somali coast than is evident in the model. On the basis of correlation maps, potential model predictors (specific humidity and zonal and meridional winds over different regions at different levels) are chosen for CCA for the prediction of ISMR. Using leave-three-out cross-validation technique, canonical coefficients are computed using 25 years data (as training period) for CCA model. With this, predictions from the CCA model have also been prepared for the period of 1981–2005 to evaluate the performance. In addition to the above, predictions are made for four independent years (2006–2009). An improvement in skill of the composite forecasts (obtained using all the predictors) in terms of interannual variability is noticed over some parts of east- and northeast India as well as many parts of peninsular region especially over west coast of India. Copyright © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society