Research ArticleCLIMATOLOGY

Skillful prediction of summer rainfall in the Tibetan Plateau on multiyear time scales

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Science Advances  09 Jun 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 24, eabf9395
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf9395


Skillful near-term climate predictions of rainfall over the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the Asian water tower, benefit billions of people. On the basis of the state-of-the-art decadal prediction models, we showed evidence that although the raw model outputs show low predicted ability for the summer Inner TP (ITP) rainfall due to low signal-to-noise ratios in models, we can produce realistic predictions by extracting the predictable signal from large ensemble predictions along with a postprocessing procedure of variance adjustment. The results indicate that the summer ITP rainfall is highly predictable on multiyear time scales. The predictability of ITP rainfall originates from the Silk Road pattern driven by sea surface temperature over the subpolar gyre region in North Atlantic. Real-time forecasts suggest that the ITP will become wetter, with 12.8% increase in rainfall during 2020–2027 relative to 1986–2005. Our results will help the water resources management in the surrounding regions.

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