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National Science Foundation
A New and Better Way
Fall Predicts Winter
New Seasonal Forecast Model
model accuracy demonstrated
Classroom Resources
Germantown, MD: snowstorm. Click for larger image.

A snowstorm hit hard in Germantown, Md. in winter 2003. Click here for more information.

Credit: NOAA/NWS Historic Collection

Fall Predicts Winter
Insert info. Click for larger image.
A snowstorm buries cars in Baltimore, Maryland.

Credit: Bill Swartwout; www.SouthBaltimore.com

Researchers at AER and MIT are taking winter weather forecasting beyond El Nino by investigating the relationship between Siberian snow cover in fall months, and Northern Hemisphere climate variability during the winter. A forecast model developed by AER scientist Judah Cohen has achieved on-target forecasts for major cities in the industrialized countries.

"Weather affects peoples' lives and the global economy on a daily basis," says Anjuli Bamzai, program director in NSF's climate dynamics program. "Improving our ability to predict cold weather and heavy snow has obvious benefits. The success of Cohen's real-time forecasts offers a way to improve our ability to anticipate such important events."

Forecast Temperature Anomaly Jan-Feb-Mar 2014
Predicted winter surface temperature anomalies for the Northern Hemisphere in Dec-Jan-Feb 2014/2015 in degrees Fahrenheit. The model is forecasting cold for much of the Central and Eastern United States and Northern Eurasia, with warm in Western North America, Southern Europe and North Africa. The model uses October Siberian snow cover, sea level pressure anomalies, predicted El Nino/Southern Oscillation anomalies and observed September Arctic sea ice anomalies. The strongest signal in the model is the October Siberian snow cover, which is the second highest ever observed in the record. This is an indication of an increased probability of a weakened polar vortex or a sudden stratospheric warming and a predominantly negative Arctic Oscillation during the winter.

Credit: Judah Cohen, AER, Inc.
Predicting Seasonal Weather A Special Report
Forecasted Temperature Anomaly. Click for larger image. Observed Temperature Anomaly. Click for larger image.