The prediction of wintertime extratropical cyclone activity (ECA) on subseasonal time scales by models participating in the Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) and the Seasonal to Sub-seasonal Prediction (S2S) is assessed. Consistent with a previous study which investigated the S2S models, the SubX models have skillful predictions of ECA over regions from central North Pacific across North America to western North Atlantic, as well as East Asia and northern and southern part of eastern North Atlantic at 3-4 weeks lead time.
SubX provides daily mean data, while S2S provides instantaneous data at 00Z each day. This leads to different variance of ECA. Different S2S and SubX models have different reforecast initialization times and reforecast time periods. These factors can all lead to differences in prediction skill. To fairly compare the prediction skill between different models, we develop a novel way to evaluate the prediction of individual model across the two ensembles by comparing every model to the Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), as CFSv2 has 6-hrly output and forecasts initialized every day. Among the S2S and SubX models, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model exhibits the best prediction skill, followed by CFSv2. Our results also suggest that while the prediction skill is sensitive to forecast lead time, including forecasts up to four days old into the ensemble may still be useful for weeks 3-4 predictions of ECA.