Year in Review
J-SCOPE forecasts rely on output from NCEP's Coupled Forecast System (CFS) for the climate forcing, so it is worthwhile to consider the quality of the CFS predictions from early 2015 in analysis of the J-SCOPE forecasts for 2015. Here we take a regional perspective; folks interested in more quantitative results for the CFS model over an extended period and more on the basin scale, are encouraged to check out the Journal of Climate articles by Wen et al. (2012) and Hu et al. (2012). These studies indicate that the CFS has substantial skill in predicting SST in the Northeast Pacific for lead times of less than about six months, in general. The predictions from the CFS made in early 2015 indicated El Niño conditions continuing to intensify during early 2015. Averaging across the ensemble of CFS predictions, the ENSO forecast from the CFS captured the amplitude and timing of the increase very well.
The CFS predictions for sea surface temperature (SST) were too cool in early 2015, but CFS forecasted an increase in SST which matched the observed trend. The CFS was not able to forecast the positive DMI in 2015. More information can be found here.