A major motivation for the study of the coupled land-atmosphere system is the idea that soil moisture anomalies may affect future precipitation through their effects on future surface energy and water budgets. If true, the accurate initialization of soil moisture in a subseasonal or seasonal precipitation forecast may improve forecast skill, making the forecast products more valuable to society.
GLACE (for Global Land-Atmosphere Coupling Experiment) was a successful international project aimed at quantifying, across a broad selection of global climate models, the degree to which simulated precipitation responds to prescribed times series of soil moisture content. GEWEX and CLIVAR are now supporting GLACE-2, a follow-on, ambitious project examining, again with a wide variety of models, the degree to which monthly precipitation and temperature forecasts improve through the proper initialization of soil moisture
For the first time ever, a global consensus will emerge regarding the value of land initialization for forecasts, perhaps motivating national forecast centers to make full use of land moisture initialization in their operations.