Improving the skill of regional forecasts in the POAMA-3 model

Research objective

Create more skilful multi-week seasonal forecasts of Australian climate at regional scales.

We will measure how much POAMA-3 forecast skill has improved from POAMA-2. We will identify priority areas to improve POAMA, then trial them in POAMA-3. By conducting hindcasts, we will test the improvements for Australian regional forecast skill and ready them to be incorporated into POAMA-3.

POAMA-3 is higher resolution, and will help producers to manage their businesses by giving more certainty about timing of sowing and fertilising, for example. We will be more able to estimate the uncertainty of this model and give that information to people using the forecasts.

Project duration

2013 – 2016

Progress to date

During year one of this project, we decided that the optimal way to deliver improved forecasts with the next version of POAMA is to directly construct the ACCESS system based on the newest coupled model available from the United Kingdom Met Office (UKMO). This model incorporates much higher spatial resolution (60 km grid compared to 250 km for POAMA2), improved representation of tropical convection, and stochastic physics options for ensemble generation.

In the past year, we acquired and installed the most recent coupled model code—Global Coupled Model version 2 (GC2). GC2 includes further improvements to clouds, convection, and other physics, and has been shown by the UKMO to offer improved forecast performance for weather and climate. We set up forecast suites and acquired more initial conditions from the UKMO in order to do selected case studies to assess forecast performance for the Australian climate.

A major outcome of our work is that the final version of ACCESS-S1 was determined. The ACCESS-S1 system has been delivered to operations, with the target of having it run in real-time by the 3rd quarter 2016. Experimental forecast products are now being developed with the aim of trialing on an experimental web page by the end of 2016.

Research contact

Dr Harry Hendon

Bureau of Meteorology

Phone: (03) 9669 4120

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