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Press Release 07-104

Scientists Verify Predictive Model for Winter Weather

Information depends on October snow cover in Siberia

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Illustration showing impact of polar vortex and jet stream on different regions from fall to winter

Researchers have validated a new weather prediction model that uses autumn snowfall to predict winter cold in the United States and Europe. When snowfall is high in Siberia, the resultant cold air enhances atmospheric disturbances, which propagate into the upper level of the atmosphere, or stratosphere, warming the polar vortex. When the polar vortex warms, the jet stream is pushed south leading to colder winters across the eastern United States and Europe. Conversely, under these conditions the Arctic will have a warmer than average winter.

Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation


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