CW3E and DWR Co-Host the Winter Outlook Workshop

November 6, 2018

Winter Outlook Workshop (WOW) with California Department of Water Resources (DWR) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Oct 31st – November 2nd. This was the 10th anniversary of the WOW, which is funded by DWR and focuses on improving subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) forecasts for the Western US. The ultimate goal of the WOW is to answer the question “How much precipitation are we going to receive this year in the Western US?” This year the meeting focused on highlighting many on-going research projects, many of which are funded by DWR, that are working to try to answer this question using multiple approaches.

The meeting began with Dr. Michael Anderson (DWR) and Jeanine Jones (DWR) discussing DWR’s efforts to improve S2S forecasts and the applications of the improved forecasts including groundwater recharge efforts throughout California. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. Nina Oakley (Western Regional Climate Center, WRCC) on how precipitation in California varies by ENSO event type and how to improve communications to the public about the large variability of ENSO. The day concluded with a wrap-up of the previous water year including information on AR landfalls, sea surface temperatures and teleconnections by CW3E researchers.

The second day emphasized the on-going and upcoming research projects on the S2S topic. Dr. David DeWitt, Director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, began the day with a presentation on the Weather Act and report to Congress. This was followed by Dr. Nathaniel Johnson, from NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, who shared encouraging results of forecasting seasonal snowpack. Dr. Daniel Barrie (NOAA MAPP) presented remotely on the S2S effort of the MAPP program throughout the US. Dr. Rong Fu (UCLA) presented on the potential for statistical forecasts for CA/NV winter precipitation. The morning session concluded with the US Bureau of Reclamation presenting on the result of their forecast Rodeo. The afternoon began with Duane Waliser of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) presenting an overview of S2S research efforts ongoing at multiple institutions and agencies. After his presentation, the results from DWR funded research efforts by CW3E and JPL on extended range, week 2 and 3, forecast products and skill assessments was shown by Dr. Michael DeFlorio. These products are being tested in near real time this water year. The day ended with a presentation by Dr. Peter Gibson, JPL, on his research on characterizing ridges that impact precipitation in California and a presentation by Dr. Aneesh Subramanian on a proposed DWR funded study to examine regime predictability and precursors.

The final day began with Dr. David DeWitt and Dr. Michael Anderson presenting on a new collaboration between NOAA and DWR for S2S investigations. This was followed by Michael Anderson discussing a new project involving the use of climate models to support S2S. The last presentations were on the Colorado River Basin supported by DWR. The first presentation was by Dr. Benjamin Hatchett on the importance of extreme precipitation in causing wet years. Dr. Zhenhai Zhang from CW3E used the NMME to examine skill of S2S forecast in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Attendees provided feedback to help direct future research of these two research topics. A large public meeting on December 5th at UC Irvine showcased many of the research efforts that were presented at the WOW this year.