Through a series of convection-permitting regional-scale ensembles based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, this study investigates the predictability of multiscale weather and convectively coupled equatorial waves during the active phase of a Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) event over the Indian Ocean from 12 October to 12 November 2011. It is found that the practical predictability limit, estimated by the spread of the ensemble perturbed with realistic initial and boundary uncertainties, is as much as 8 days for horizontal winds, temperature, and humidity for scales larger than 2000 km that include equatorial Rossby, Kelvin, inertia-gravity, and mixed Rossby-gravity waves. The practical predictability limit decreases rapidly as scale decreases, resulting in a predictable time scale less than 1 day for scales smaller than 200 km. Through further experiments using minute initial and boundary perturbations an order of magnitude smaller than the current realistic uncertainties, the intrinsic predictability limit for tropical weather at larger scales (> 2000 km) is estimated to be achievable beyond 2 weeks, but the limit is likely still less than 3 days for the small scales (< 200 km).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science