A “Nugget” Find

On the Accuweather.com forums, a few friends of mine have a “catch phrase” that we use when one of us stumbles upon some very important information relavant to the subject at hand.  “That was an AWESOME nugget!”  Meaning…a gold nugget.

Well…I stumbled across that tonight!  I am a member of the COMET/MetEd Facebook Group and one of their members posted this article…

NEW RESEARCH MAY ENABLE LONGER-TERM FORECASTS OF U.S. HEAT WAVES

October 27, 2013

BOULDER—Scientists have fingerprinted a distinctive atmospheric wave pattern high above the Northern Hemisphere that can foreshadow the emergence of summertime heat waves in the United States more than two weeks in advance.

The new research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), could potentially enable probability forecasts of U.S. heat waves 15-20 days out, giving society more time to prepare for these often-deadly events.

The timing of this article couldn’t be better ladies and gentlemen!  Imagine, I am in the process of having a long range forecasting technique where I’ve been able to forecast upper air patterns over the Eastern USA 19-21 days in advance by looking at the current state of the atmosphere over the Bering Sea.  If the modeling of our two major weather models, the GFS and European, are in sync with each other…that number can increase to 29-31 days in advance!

Are there flaws in my method?  Of course!

For instance, I cannot nail the exact day that a cold front or high pressure will move into the region because of the model variability.  However, if I merely looked at the current 500mb OBS, that becomes a non-issue.

Another “flaw” that I am trying to mitigate is the inability of not being able to place the true axis of said trough or ridge as it pertains to the Eastern United States.  However, that “is a work in progress” as I have started to see basic pattern recognition that correlates to which region of the Bering Sea matches the Entire USA!  Yes…you read that correctly…the Entire USA!

The final flaw that I’m running into, which seems to be the most glaring one for general weather enthusiast, is the inability to correlate the SLP (Surface Low Pressure) of a system in the Bering Sea to what happens in the Eastern USA 2.5-3 weeks later.  I always come back with how I’m not worried about nailing the SLP because I’m more worried about telling people the general pattern right now.

Enjoy the ride everyone and I will leave you with the last two sentences of the article…

“There may be sources of predictability that we are not yet aware of,” she says. “This brings us hope that the likelihood of extreme weather events that are damaging to society can be predicted further in advance.”

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