ENSO-conditioned weather resampling method for seasonal ensemble streamflow prediction

Joost V.L. Beckers*, Albrecht H. Weerts, Erik Tijdeman, Edwin Welles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Oceanic-atmospheric climate modes, such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), are known to affect the local streamflow regime in many rivers around the world. A new method is proposed to incorporate climate mode information into the well-known ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP) method for seasonal forecasting. The ESP is conditioned on an ENSO index in two steps. First, a number of original historical ESP traces are selected based on similarity between the index value in the historical year and the index value at the time of forecast. In the second step, additional ensemble traces are generated by a stochastic ENSO-conditioned weather resampler. These resampled traces compensate for the reduction of ensemble size in the first step and prevent degradation of skill at forecasting stations that are less affected by ENSO. The skill of the ENSO-conditioned ESP is evaluated over 50 years of seasonal hindcasts of streamflows at three test stations in the Columbia River basin in the US Pacific Northwest. An improvement in forecast skill of 5 to 10 % is found for two test stations. The streamflows at the third station are less affected by ENSO and no change in forecast skill is found here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3277-3287
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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