Surface temperature forecast skill comparison for the west coast of Saudi Arabia

HUSSAIN ATHAR, ATHAR SARA

Abstract

Given the growing interest of the general public in accessing commercial weather forecasts through various media outlets and the available impetuses for promoting tourism in Saudi Arabia (SA), a first attempt is made to present a forecast skill comparison for surface temperature in four cities (Wejh, Yenbo, Jeddah, and Gizan) along the west coast of SA, for the 61-day transitional period (from January 16 to March 16) between the December-January-February (DJF) and the March-April-May (MAM) seasons. A simple skill score comparison method is used to assess the next-day city forecasts for surface temperature from six commercial weather forecast providers based on the operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) model outputs. All the NWP model forecast providers performed better than the respective daily climatology (Clm) for each station. Depending upon the station and the provider, the absolute average maximum daily surface temperature difference between the forecasts and the observations was less than 2 ºC. Daily surface temperature forecasts from two versions of an atmospheric-ocean general circulation model are also compared to assess their performance for these coastal locations.

Keywords

Saudi Arabia; surface temperature; forecast skill comparison; transitional season period.

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