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      Improvements in Long-Lead Prediction of Early-Summer Subtropical Frontal Rainfall Based on Arctic Sea Ice

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          Seasonal prediction of East Asia (EA) summer rainfall, especially with a longer-lead time, is in great demand, but still very challenging. The present study aims to make long-lead prediction of EA subtropical frontal rainfall (SFR) during early summer (May–June mean, MJ) by considering Arctic sea ice (ASI) variability as a new potential predictor. A MJ SFR index (SFRI), the leading principle component of the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis applied to the MJ precipitation anomaly over EA, is defined as the predictand. Analysis of 38-year observations (1979–2016) revealed three physically consequential predictors. A stronger SFRI is preceded by dipolar ASI anomaly in the previous autumn, a sea level pressure (SLP) dipole in the Eurasian continent, and a sea surface temperature anomaly tripole pattern in the tropical Pacific in the previous winter. These precursors foreshadow an enhanced Okhotsk High, lower local SLP over EA, and a strengthened western Pacific subtropical high. These factors are controlling circulation features for a positive SFRI. A physical-empirical model was established to predict SFRI by combining the three predictors. Hindcasting was performed for the 1979–2016 period, which showed a hindcast prediction skill that was, unexpectedly, substantially higher than that of a four-dynamical models’ ensemble prediction for the 1979–2010 period (0.72 versus 0.47). Note that ASI variation is a new predictor compared with signals originating from the tropics to mid-latitudes. The long-lead hindcast skill was notably lower without the ASI signals included, implying the high practical value of ASI variation in terms of long-lead seasonal prediction of MJ EA rainfall.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          14 May 2019
          01 June 2019
          : 18
          : 3
          : 542-552
          1 Key Laboratory of Physical Oceanography, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          2 Laboratory for Ocean and Climate Dynamics, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao 266100, China
          3 Ningbo Collaborative Innovation Center of Nonlinear Harzard System of Ocean and Atmosphere, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: HUANG Fei
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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