An alert classification system for monitoring and assessing the enso cycle
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An Alert Classification System for Monitoring and Assessing the ENSO-Cycle. A Briefing for the Committee for Climate Analysis, Monitoring, and Services (CCAMS) Mike Halpert Deputy Director, CPC. 30 October 2007.

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An alert classification system for monitoring and assessing the enso cycle

An Alert Classification System for Monitoring and Assessing the ENSO-Cycle

A Briefing for the Committee for Climate Analysis,

Monitoring, and Services (CCAMS)

Mike Halpert

Deputy Director, CPC

30 October 2007

Kousky, V. E. and R. W. Higgins, 2007: An Alert Classifications System for monitoring and assessment of the ENSO cycle, Weather and Forecasting, Vol. 22, No. 2, 353–371.


Purpose

PURPOSE

  • Informational briefing to familiarize the Climate Analysis, Monitoring, and Services (CCAMS) Committee with the ENSO Alert System, which will be implemented in CPC Forecast Operations.


Overview

Overview

  • An ENSO Alert System that includes Watches, Advisories, and a five-class ENSO Intensity Scale (EIS) for warm & cold phases of the cycle is introduced.

  • The ENSO Alert System is currently being tested in CPC Forecast Operations. An Official Release is anticipated during FY09.

  • CPC's monthly Climate Diagnostics Bulletin and ENSO Diagnostic Discussion will serve as the

  • primary vehicles for disseminating real-time information concerning the ENSO Alert Status to the

  • scientific community and public at large.

  • An objective method that relates the EIS to impacts is introduced to improve operational

  • assessments of El Niño and La Niña impacts (analogous to what is done for hurricane and

  • tornado damage assessments using the Saffir-Simpson and Fujita scales, respectively).

  • (Note: Covered in Back-up Slides)


Oceanic ni o index oni

Oceanic Niño Index (ONI)

  • The ONI is based on SST departures from average in the Niño 3.4 region, and is a principal measure for monitoring, assessing, and predicting ENSO.

  • Defined as the three-month running-mean SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region. Departures are based on a set of improved homogeneous historical SST analyses (Extended Reconstructed SST – ERSST.v2). The SST reconstruction methodology is described in Smith and Reynolds, 2003, J. Climate, 16, 1495-1510.

  • Used to place current events in historical perspective.

  • NOAA’s operational definitions of El Niño and La Niña are keyed to the ONI index.


Oni evolution since 1950

ONI: Evolution since 1950

El Niño

neutral

La Niña


Noaa operational definitions for el ni o and la ni a

NOAA Operational Definitions forEl Niño and La Niña

El Niño: characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5°C.

La Niña: characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5°C.

To be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.

CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 SST departures meet or exceed +/- 0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features.


Historical el ni o and la ni a episodes based on the oni computed using ersst v2

Historical El Niño and La Niña episodes, based on the ONI computed using ERSST.v2


Noaa procedures for issuing watches warnings and advisories

NOAA Procedures for Issuing Watches, Warnings and Advisories


Experimental testing of the enso alert system in cpc forecast operations

Experimental Testing of the ENSO Alert Systemin CPC Forecast Operations


Guidelines for issuing watches and advisories

“Guidelines” for Issuing Watches and Advisories

EA: El Niño Advisory

LA: La Niña Advisory

EW: El Niño Watch

LW: La Niña Watch

FEA: Final El Niño Advisory

FLA: Final La Niño Advisory

  • "Watches" are issued when a transition to El Niño or La Niña conditions is anticipated within the next 3 months.

  • "Advisories" are issued when El Niño or La Niña conditions are observed and expected to continue.

  • “Final Advisories” are issued after El Niño or La Niña conditions have ended.


Enso forecasters template for the monthly enso diagnostics discussion

ENSO Forecasters Template for the Monthly ENSO Diagnostics Discussion

“ X “ implies a greater than 50% chance of El Niño (E), Neutral (N), or La Niña (L)

  • Forecaster consensus is used for the ENSO Outlook “Synopsis Statement” in the EDD.

  • The format of the Synopsis Statement varies, but it includes the following information:

  • - Current ENSO State;

  • - Anticipated Future ENSO State (usually within the next 3-6 months);

  • - Whether an ENSO state is expected to persist or whether a transition is anticipated.

  • The Synopsis Statement informs the decision whether to issue a Watch or Advisory.


Verification

Verification

Subjective Verification

122 “Forecasts” from June 1997 – July 2007

80 correct forecasts/42 incorrect (66% correct)

Conditions when forecast made:

La Niña Neutral El Nino

Total 335138

Correct282628

Wrong 52510

% Correct85% 51%74%

  • The ENSO Alert Status is verified against the ONI value for the next season

  • A poster at the 32nd Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Workshop will include verification for the preceding ~8 years


Enso intensity scale

ENSO Intensity Scale

  • A simple five-class intensity scale for assessments of warm and cold phases of the ENSO cycle.

  • EIS values obtained by doubling the standardized ONI values [ONI divided by the standard deviation] for each overlapping three-month period and using the ranges specified in the Table.

  • The use of the standardized ONI, rather than the ONI itself, results in reduced seasonality in the distribution of values in the various EIS classes.


Number of events in eis class by season

Number of Events in EIS Class by Season

  • For the period 1950-2005, the total number of seasons falling in the ranges W2-W5, W1-C1 and C2-C5 are 194 (28.9%), 260 (38.7%) and 218 (32.4%), respectively.

  • In most cases, global ENSO effects vary considerably for weak episodes (i.e. episodes with small EIS values) and become greater and more consistent from event-to-event for strong episodes (larger values of the EIS).


Summary

Summary

  • An ENSO Alert System that includes Watches, Advisories, and a five-class ENSO Intensity Scale (EIS) for warm & cold phases of the cycle was introduced.

  • The ENSO Alert System is currently being tested in CPC Forecast Operations. An Official Release is anticipated during FY09.

  • CPC's monthly Climate Diagnostics Bulletin and ENSO Diagnostic Discussion will serve as the

  • primary vehicles for disseminating real-time information concerning the ENSO Alert Status to the

  • scientific community and public at large.


Back up slides

Back-up Slides


Overview1

Overview

  • An objective method that relates the ENSO Intensity Scale to impacts is introduced to improve operational assessments of El Niño and La Niña impacts (analogous to what is done for hurricane and tornado damage assessments using the Saffir-Simpson and Fujita scales, respectively).

  • The method is illustrated by relating the EIS to precipitation anomalies in the global Tropics and

  • over the US.

  • The methodology relating the ENSO cycle to impacts is quite general and can be used for other

  • types of impacts.


Operational assessments and the tropical precipitation index tpi

Operational Assessments and the Tropical Precipitation Index (TPI)

  • Introduce an objective method for operational retrospective assessments that relates the EIS to effects.

    • The EIS is not prescriptive concerning ENSO-related impacts, which are both positive and negative (Note: different from tornadoes & hurricanes which have generally negative impacts).

  • Illustrate the method using a Tropical Precipitation Index (TPI)

    • Quantifies the departure from average in the global Tropics and Subtropics.

    • Developed from monthly satellite-gauge merged precip (CAMS-OPI) (Janowiak and Xie 99).

    • Defined as the 3-month running mean sum of the fractional area of the global Tropics and subtropics (30°S-30°N) with precip anomalies above the 70th %ile and below the 30th %ile.

    • Accounts for positive and negative precipitation departures from average on the tails of the distribution. Percentiles are based on the gamma distribution.

    • Base period: (1979-1995)


Evolution of the oni and tpi

Evolution of the ONI and TPI

  • Smallest (largest) values of TPI occur during NH summer (during major El Niño episodes).

  • During strong El Niño episodes (1982/83 and 1997/98) the global tropics are dominated by negative precipitation anomalies over Indonesia (suppressed Austral-Asian monsoon).

  • During strong La Niña episodes (e.g. 1999-2001) the opposite is generally true.

Global Tropics

(30S-30N)


An alert classification system for monitoring and assessing the enso cycle

Seasonal Timeseries of Areal Coverage of Precip Anom for the US (<30thor >70th %ile)

  • Relatively wet (dry) conditions during El Niño (La Niña).

  • For the period shown, La Niña episodes appear to have a more detrimental impact on the U.S. precipitation pattern than El Niño episodes.


Composites of jfm precipitation departures mm by eis class

COMPOSITES OF JFM PRECIPITATION DEPARTURES (mm) BY EIS CLASS

  • Several features usually ascribed to the extreme phases of the ENSO cycle are evident

  • There are some interesting variations in the patterns over northern California and western Oregon and western Washington that probably deserve further study.


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