The tropical Pacific Ocean basin is home to over 20 Pacific Island nations, many of which are sensitive to climate extremes from the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and rainfall variability associated the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone and the South Pacific Convergence Zone. These Pacific Island countries are highly dependent on agriculture, fishing and tourism as a major source of food production and income, which can vary greatly depending on the weather and climate experienced from year to year. Hence, the provision of skilful seasonal forecasts is important to allow these countries to prepare for changes in rainfall and impending droughts associated with the changes in ENSO. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has developed a dynamical seasonal forecast system POAMA (Predictive Ocean-Atmosphere Model for Australia), which is a state of the art seasonal to inter-annual forecast system based on a coupled model of the ocean and atmosphere. The model has good skill at predicting El Niño and La Niña up to 9 months in advance and it is capable of simulating the spatial and temporal variability of tropical rainfall associated with ENSO. Consequently, the variability of rainfall patterns across the Pacific region is skilfully predicted by POAMA at short lead times. The availability of seasonal forecasts from dynamical models will aid Pacific Island countries to improve economic returns in agriculture and other industries and reduce impacts from storms, floods and droughts associated with the extremes of El Niño and La Niña.
Collection(s) and Series: CAWCR technical report- No. 48
Format: Digital (Free)