Simulation of the Madden– Julian Oscillation and its teleconnections in the ECMWF forecast system



A series of 46-day ensemble integrations starting on the 15th of each month from 1989 to 2008 has been completed with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) forecast system. The Madden– Julian Oscillation (MJO) simulated by the hindcasts is diagnosed using an index based on combined empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) of zonal winds at 200 and 850 hPa and outgoing long-wave radiation. Results indicate that the dynamical model is able to maintain the amplitude of the MJO during the 46 days of integrations and the model displays skill for up to about 20 days to predict the evolution of the MJO. However, the MJO simulated by the model has a too slow eastward propagation and has difficulties crossing the Maritime Continent.

The MJO teleconnections simulated by the ECMWF forecast system have been compared to reanalyses. In the Tropics, the impact of the MJO on precipitation is generally consistent with reanalysis. In the Northern Extratropics, the MJO simulated by the model has an impact on North Atlantic weather regimes, but with a smaller amplitude than in reanalysis which can be partly explained by the too slow eastward propagation of the simulated MJO events. The impact of the MJO on the probabilistic skill scores has been assessed. Results indicate that the MJO simulated by the model has a statistically significant impact on weekly mean probabilistic skill scores in the Northern Extratropics, particularly at the time range 19– 25 days. At this time range, the reliability of the probabilistic forecasts over Europe depends strongly on the presence of an MJO event in the initial conditions. This result confirms that the MJO is a major source of predictability in the Extratropics in the sub-seasonal time-scale. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society