Climate Outlook for the North America Monsoon Experiment (NAME) Region
This page provides the IRI's seasonal temperature and precipitation forecasts for the region of the North America Monsoon Experiment (NAME). The NAME region is a subset of the regular North America region, and includes roughly one-half of the latitude range and 40% of the longitude range, omitting most of Canada and longitudes west of the U.S. West Coast and east of mid-Atlantic U.S. East Coast. This "zooming in" makes for a higher resolution display of the forecasts in the NAME region. Other than this advantage, the materials available from the NAME page parallel those available for the other continental climate forecasts.
The forecasts are for the four overlapping 3-month periods extending out to six months in advance. For views of previous forecasts for the NAME region made from late 1997 through one month earlier than the most current forecast, view the forecasts for North America. For all regions, the IRI's forecasts provide probabilities that precipitation or temperature will be in the lowest one-third of the climatological distribution, the middle one-third, or the highest one-third. In order to show the probabilities using only one map, the probability of the category having the greatest probability (33.3% or greater) is shown by color shading. On the maps for individual continents, histograms indicate the probabilities of all three categories for some regions. The climatological distribution is determined by the observations for the season in question over a recent 30-year history. The forecasts represent a distillation of information from a number of inputs, the most important being the predictions of several dynamical atmospheric prediction models that respond to the expected patterns in sea surface temperature (SST).
Learn more about monthly forecasts of the individual prediction models themselves. At the top of the page, individual skill estimates based for these models are provided, based on hindcast simulations using prescribed observed SST.
Learn more about forecasts of the SST, to which the atmospheric models respond. More is said about the SST forecasts in the entry panel for that product.
The forecasts of the individual models are objectively combined into a multi-model ensemble probability forecast, where the weights assigned to the individual models are based on historical hindcast performance using prescribed, observed SST for the season and location. Click the following to learn more about maps showing these purely objective forecast results, where the calendar year (2006 in above case) is flexible. The IRI's final issued climate forecasts are determined almost entirely by this objective multi-model product but sometimes may be adjusted slightly on the basis of factors such as known model biases, uncertainties in aspects of the SST forecast, late-breaking SST or climate information, etc. The most common kind of such subjective, human adjustment is a weakening of the forecasts' deviation from the climatological probability distribution of a 1/3 probability for each of the tercile-based categories.