Ocean ensemble forecasting. Part II: Mediterranean Forecast System response

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Abstract

This article analyzes the ocean forecast response to surface vector wind (SVW) distributions generated by a Bayesian hierarchical model (BHM) developed in Part I of this series. A new method for ocean ensemble forecasting (OEF), the so-called BHM-SVW-OEF, is described. BHM-SVW realizations are used to produce and force perturbations in the ocean state during 14 day analysis and 10 day forecast cycles of the Mediterranean Forecast System (MFS). The BHM-SVW-OEF ocean response spread is amplified at the mesoscales and in the pycnocline of the eddy field. The new method is compared with an ensemble response forced by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ensemble prediction system (EEPS) surface winds, and with an ensemble forecast started from perturbed initial conditions derived from an ad hoc thermocline intensified random perturbation (TIRP) method. The EEPS-OEF shows spread on basin scales while the TIRP-OEF response is mesoscale-intensified as in the BHM-SVW-OEF response. TIRP-OEF perturbations fill more of the MFS domain, while the BHM-SVW-OEF perturbations are more location-specific, concentrating ensemble spread at the sites where the ocean-model response to uncertainty in the surface wind forcing is largest. Copyright © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society

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