Skillful wintertime North American temperature forecasts out to 4 weeks based on the state of ENSO and the MJO

Nathaniel C. Johnson, Dan C. Collins, Steven B. Feldstein, Michelle L. L'heureux, Emily E. Riddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Previous work has shown that the combined influence of El Ni~no-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) significantly impacts the wintertime circulation over North America for lead times up to at least 4 weeks. These findings suggest that both the MJO and ENSO may prove beneficial for generating a seamless prediction link between short-range deterministic forecasts and longer-range seasonal forecasts. To test the feasibility of this link, wintertime (December-March) probabilistic 2-m temperature (T2m) forecasts over North America are generated solely on the basis of the linear trend and statistical relationships with the initial state of the MJO and ENSO. Overall, such forecasts exhibit substantial skill for some regions and some initial states of the MJO and ENSO out to a lead time of approximately 4 weeks. In addition, the primary ENSO T2m regions of influence are nearly orthogonal to those of the MJO, which suggests that the MJO and ENSO generally excite different patterns within the continuum of large-scale atmospheric teleconnections. The strong forecast skill scores for some regions and initial states confirm the promise that information from the MJOand ENSOmay offer forecasts of opportunity in weeks 3 and 4, which extend beyond the current 2-week extended-range outlooks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), and an intraseasonal link to longer-range probabilistic forecasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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