Probabilistic seasonal prediction of meteorological drought using the bootstrap and multivariate information

Ali Behrangi, Hai Nguyen, Stephanie Granger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In the present work, a probabilistic ensemble method using the bootstrap is developed to predict the future state of the standard precipitation index (SPI) commonly used for drought monitoring. The methodology is data driven and has the advantage of being easily extended to use more than one variable as predictors. Using 110 years of monthly observations of precipitaton, surface air temperature, and the Niño-3.4 index, the method was employed to assess the impact of the different variables in enhancing the prediction skill. A predictive probability density function (PDF) is produced for future 6-month SPI, and a log-likelihood skill score is used to cross compare various combination scenarios using the entire predictive PDF and with reference to the observed values set aside for validation. The results suggest that the multivariate prediction using complementary information from 3- and 6-month SPI and initial surface air temperature significantly improves seasonal prediction skills for capturing drought severity and delineation of drought areas based on observed 6-month SPI. The improvement is observed across all seasons and regions over the continental United States relative to other prediction scenarios that ignore the surface air temperature information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1510-1522
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate prediction
  • Climate prediction
  • Climatology
  • Drought
  • Seasonal forecasting
  • Surface temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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