CariCOF climate outlooks

The Caribbean Climate Outlooks are prepared by the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF). The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, in its role as WMO Regional Climate Centre in demonstration phase, coordinates the CariCOF process. Contributors to the Outlooks are the Meteorological Services from the region.

This consensus outlook is produced by combining global, regional and national forecasts and expert interpretation. National and region-wide forecasts produced using the Climate Prediction Tool (CPT) are considered together with global dynamical climate models. Global forecasts that are examined include those from the IRI, the U.K. Met Office, ECMWF, Météo-France, NOAA CPC, the WMO LRF-MME, the APCC, JMA, Environment Canada CMC and the US/Canada National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME).

Probabilities for three-month rainfall totals and temperature averages are estimated for sub-regions based on the model outputs, the level of agreement between the different models and expert knowledge of the regional setting.

The Precipitation and Minimum, Mean and Maximum Temperature Outlooks are issued in the form of maps, which show regions where the forecast rainfall or temperatures have the same probabilities to be:

Above-normal (A) - within the wettest/hottest third of the historical record

Near-normal (N) - within the middle third of the historical record

Below-normal (B) - within the driest/coldest third of the historical record

The Drought Outlooks are issued in the form of alert maps, with four categories of increasing alert level. Each alert level then corresponds to a specific action level.

The Wet Days and Wet Spells Outlooks are issued in the form of weather station-based frequencies for the historical period 1985-2014. The output can be easily included into tables and spreadsheets.

Need for automation – a sustainability issue


The goal of this implementation is to have an online portal set up that allows the generation and delivery of CariCOF climate outlooks as well as national climate outlooks within the CariCOF participating countries.

Main functionalities

1.Log-in, permissions

a.all administrative rights for CariCOF climate outlook lead (i.e. Climatologist - CVM, Assistant Climate Forecaster - WBS)

b.log-in as CIMH, national met service personnel (incl. normal or advanced user)

c.set permissions for normal and advanced users (all CIMH users are advanced users, national met service users can choose to be either)

2.Input data ingestion

a.climate data housed within CariCOF

i.updating monthly and daily rainfall, Tmean, Tmin, Tmax

ii.ingestion of new datasets low priority

b.climate data fetched from outside CariCOF

i.scheduled downloads of global and regional data from IRI data library, NOAA CPC, WMO LC LRF-MME, GPCs

ii.option to include new data set ingestion and schedule their downloads (e.g. remotely sensed data) for errors in data fetching and tool to manually add in the data that was not downloadable (permission for and report to CIMH users)

3.Running climate outlook experiments online using CPT

a.Selection of CPT version and experimental setup (by CariCOF climate outlook lead)

i.A script should allow generic CPT version to be fetched and ingested into the automation platform

ii.set version number for use in CariCOF and pre-set national outlooks

iii.Tool that allows the addition and removal of CPT parameter selection

iv.Tool that allows the inclusion of additional CPT experiments into CariCOF consensus outlooks

b.Running regional outlook (permission only for CIMH)

i.region pre-sets for CPT (incl. coordinates, required input data sets, CPT parameter setup)

ii.CPT experiments run in background, output stored and renamed

c.Running pre-set national outlooks for ingestion into CariCOF consensus outlook (permission for national met services) pre-sets for CPT (incl. coordinates, required input data sets, CPT parameter setup, number of stations or country’s station data in addition to territory’s own) depending on log-in details

ii.CPT experiments run in background, output stored and renamed

d.Running tailor-made outlooks (permission for advanced users only)

i.selection of input data and CPT parameters

ii.saving and downloading CPT output (without necessity of post-processing)

4.Post-processing and mapping CPT output

a.Save and submit CPT output into CariCOF consensus outlook generator

b.CariCOF consensus outlook generator (permission only to CIMH)

i.compiling and visualising all national and regional experiments

ii.mapping the CariCOF consensus outlooks in GIS environment

iii.option of editing the outlook maps using simple editing program

c.National climate outlook generator (permission to national met services)

i.compiling and visualising all national experiments

ii.mapping the national outlooks in GIS environment

iii.option of editing the outlook maps using simple editing program

d.Generate monthly technical CariCOF climate outlook report (in the style of the technical outlook PPT presentation) and send out to all users by next-to-last day of the month for approval/consensus.

e.Port final products and climatology updates on to RCC web site at the end of last day of month

5.Interfacing with users (CIMH, national met services, other entities by demand)

6.querying of climate data stored (including a statistics analysis tool)

7.requests, FAQs, manual and index, contact info

8.reminder setup for users (data submission date, experiments running deadline)

9.e-mail generation with CariCOF outlook products