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."
Predicted winter surface temperature anomalies for the United States for December 2015, January and February 2016 in degrees Fahrenheit. The model is forecasting cold for much of the Southern and and Eastern United States with warm in the Western and Northern United States. The model uses October Siberian snow cover, sea level pressure anomalies, predicted El Nino/Southern Oscillation anomalies and observed September Arctic sea ice anomalies. October Siberian snow cover advanced at an above normal rate. 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, with cold temperatures in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and eastern Great Lakes. However, the expectation this winter of one of the strongest El Ninos ever observed contributed to a warm temperature forecast for the northwestern United States.
Credit: Judah Cohen, AER, Inc.