Annual Seminar 2019

ECMWF | Reading | 2-5 September 2019


Subseasonal and seasonal forecasting: recent progress and future prospects

More than two decades ago, seasonal forecasting started as a pilot project at ECMWF. Now it is a corner-stone of climate services. Originally a spin-off from seasonal forecasting, the sub-seasonal range covered the then so-called predictability desert; now it is a key building block of the seamless forecasting strategy, with clear prospects for useful skill gains at week 3 and 4.

Although the predictable processes and predictability drivers differ between the subseasonal and seasonal scales, prediction at these time ranges is a combination of initial and boundary problems. Sub-seasonal and seasonal predictions act as a bridge between weather and climate.

This seminar reviewed recent advances in our understanding of the predictability at these time scales. It presented current forecasting capabilities, and summarised recent but consolidated findings from numerical experimentation and exploitation of public data bases. It also provided a perspective of incipient developments related with data exploration, forecast products and predictability drivers, which will shape the future of seamless forecasting systems.