Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 12, pp 7153–7168 | Cite as

More reliable coastal SST forecasts from the North American multimodel ensemble

  • G. HervieuxEmail author
  • M. A. Alexander
  • C. A. Stock
  • M. G. Jacox
  • K. Pegion
  • E. Becker
  • F. Castruccio
  • D. Tommasi


The skill of monthly sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly predictions for large marine ecosystems (LMEs) in coastal regions of the United States and Canada is assessed using simulations from the climate models in the North American Multimodel Ensemble (NMME). The forecasts based on the full ensemble are generally more skillful than predictions from even the best single model. The improvement in skill is particularly noteworthy for probability forecasts that categorize SST anomalies into upper (warm) and lower (cold) terciles. The ensemble provides a better estimate of the full range of forecast values than any individual model, thereby correcting for the systematic over-confidence (under-dispersion) of predictions from an individual model. Probability forecasts, including tercile predictions from the NMME, are used frequently in seasonal forecasts for atmospheric variables and may have many uses in marine resource management.


Seasonal prediction SST anomaly Coastal ecosystems Climate models Multimodel ensemble forecast 



We thank the NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO) for providing funding for this research. DT was funded by a Special Early-Stage Exploration and Development grant from NOAA’s office of oceanic and atmospheric research (OAR) with additional support from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

Supplementary material

382_2017_3652_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (4.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 4338 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Hervieux
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. A. Alexander
    • 2
  • C. A. Stock
    • 3
  • M. G. Jacox
    • 4
    • 5
  • K. Pegion
    • 6
  • E. Becker
    • 7
  • F. Castruccio
    • 8
  • D. Tommasi
    • 9
  1. 1.Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences DivisionBoulderUSA
  3. 3.NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University Forrestal CampusPrincetonUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Marine SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  5. 5.NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Environmental Research DivisionMontereyUSA
  6. 6.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth SciencesGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  7. 7.NOAA/Climate Prediction Center and INNOVIM LLCCollege ParkUSA
  8. 8.NCAR/Climate and Global DynamicsBoulderUSA
  9. 9.Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences ProgramPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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