GeoCOF: A Statistical Software Tool for Producing Seasonal Climate Forecasts

The Geospatial Climate Outlook Forecasting Tool (GeoCOF) is a statistical software tool for producing forecasts of seasonal rainfall and other climate variables. Through a user-friendly graphical interface, GeoCOF facilitates multiple-linear regression modeling, identification of potential predictors (e.g. regional sea surface temperatures), and forecast model skill assessments.  Graphical outputs are designed to support regional climate outlook forums, such as through presentation of forecasts using tercile categories and maps.

GeoCOF is a streamlined way of implementing the "SYSTAT” process with automation of various statistical analyses, and improved functions for digitizing predictor ocean basins and for defining homogenous climate zones.

You can get the latest version of GeoCOF here download the GeoCOF here.

A manual is available here to guide you through the process of using the tool to generate seasonal rainfall forecasts.

 

SST Data for GeoCOF

CHC currently supports GeoCOF-compatible (.bil) versions of three gridded SST data sets

  • Current and historical North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) forecasts for seasonal mean SST. Click here for more about NMME. Click here to access the GeoCOF-compatible NMME data. From this link are directories named “2019.MM,” where MM indicates the month the forecast was initialized. Each contains a set of NMME ensemble mean 1982-2018 hindcasts and 2019 forecasts. These ensemble means are based on the models that have released forecasts during the first ten days of the month.

  • NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST) v4 monthly SST data. Click here for more about ERSSTv4. Click here to access the GeoCOF-compatible ERSSTv4 data.

  • NOAA Optimum Interpolation (OI) SST v2 monthly data. Click here for more about OISSTv2. Click here to access the GeoCOF-compatible OISSTv2 data.

GeoCOF was developed by FEWS NET/USGS in support of regional seasonal forecasting processes, in collaboration with the SADC Climate Services Centre.

Note: GeoCOF uses  GeoCLIM as its data manager. It is advisable to install GeoCLIM and run it at least once before using GeoCOF. The GeoCLIM installer can be downloaded here.