Articles | Volume 12, issue 7
Research article
25 Jul 2012
Research article |  | 25 Jul 2012

Seasonal forecast of French Mediterranean heavy precipitating events linked to weather regimes

J.-F. Guérémy, N. Laanaia, and J.-P. Céron

Abstract. Seasonal predictability of local precipitation is rather weak in the mid-latitudes. This is the case when assessing the skill of the seasonal forecast of Heavy Precipitating Event (HPE) extreme occurrence over the French Mediterranean coast during the fall season. Tropics to extra-tropics teleconnection patterns do appear when averaging analyzed fields over the years characterised by a frequency of HPE occurrence in the upper 17% of the distribution. A methodology taking weather regime occurrence into account as an intermediate step to forecast HPE extreme occurrence is presented. For the period 1960 to 2001 and four different sets of seasonal forecast, the Economical Value is doubled, compared to the score obtained with the simulated local precipitation data, when using a linear model (Linear Discriminant Analysis in this case) taking simulated 200 hPa velocity potential–stream function regime occurrences as predictors. Interestingly, larger scores are shown for this couple of fields over a large-scale domain including the tropics than for the 500 hPa geopotential height over an Euro–Atlantic domain, despite a tighter link of the latter field to the local precipitation.