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Overview of Weather and Climate Systems


Weather and climate phenomena develop as part of the coupled ocean-atmosphere-land-ice system. To understand the nature of the coupled system and its constituent processes, as well as the basis for and the limits of their predictability, some important concepts are reviewed, including determinism, chaotic error growth, and linear as well as nonlinear perturbation dynamics. It is shown that weather is predictable but only for finite times. Initial and model errors amplify, eventually rendering weather and climate forecasts useless. First, skill is lost in forecasts of fine-scale features while larger-scale phenomena remain predictable for longer periods of time. Processes and other characteristics associated with different scales of motion are discussed next, proceeding from the finest to the largest, coupled global-scale ocean-atmosphere phenomena. The potential use of ensemble forecast techniques to quantify scale and case-dependent predictability in the context of hydrologic forecasting is emphasized throughout.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
May 31, 2018
Early Online Release
May 31, 2018
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Handbook of Hydrometeorological Ensemble Forecasting
Published On
October 01, 2018
Publisher Name
Page Range
Submitted On
December 15, 2017


Not available


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.