Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New methodology improves winter climate forecasting

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
It's hot out right now, but new research will help us know what to expect when the weather turns cold. Researchers have developed a new methodology that improves the accuracy of winter precipitation and temperature forecasts. The tool should be valuable for government and utility officials, since it provides key information for use in predicting energy consumption and water availability.

Researchers were able to reduce uncertainty in winter climate predictions by developing a methodology that incorporates multiple climate forecast models and also accounts for the activity of El Nino conditions in the Pacific.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

It may be hot out right now, but new research from North Carolina State University will help us know what to expect when the weather turns cold. Researchers have developed a new methodology that improves the accuracy of winter precipitation and temperature forecasts. The tool should be valuable for government and utility officials, since it provides key information for use in predicting energy consumption and water availability.

"Predicting winter precipitation is extremely useful, because winter is the most important season in terms of re-charging water supplies in the United States, ensuring water will be available in the summer," says Dr. Sankar Arumugam, author of the study and an assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State. The study was co-authored by Naresh Devineni, a Ph.D. student at NC State.

"Predicting temperature is also important, because temperature determines energy consumption," Arumugam says. "When it is very cold, people use more energy to heat their homes."

The researchers were able to reduce uncertainty in winter climate predictions over the United States by developing a methodology that incorporates multiple general climate forecast models (GCMs) and also accounts for the activity - or inactivity - of El Nino conditions in the Pacific.

Winter precipitation and temperature over many regions of the continental United States are predominantly determined by the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which denote hot (El Nino) or cold (La Nina) sea surface temperature conditions in the tropical Pacific.

Most GCMs are better at predicting the winter climate when ENSO is quite active, and are less accurate under neutral ENSO conditions. The methodology developed by the researchers accounts for the skill of the models under active and neutral ENSO conditions in combining multiple GCMs, resulting in reduced uncertainty in predicting the winter climate.

"Improving precipitation and temperature predictions should help government, water and energy utility officials plan more effectively," Arumugam says, "because they will have a better idea of what conditions to expect."

The study, "Improving the Prediction of Winter Precipitation and Temperature over the continental United States: Role of ENSO State in Developing Multimodel Combinations," was published online this month by Monthly Weather Review. The research was funded by the North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute.

NC State's Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering is part of the university's College of Engineering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Devineni et al. Improving the Prediction of Winter Precipitation and Temperature over the Continental United States: Role of the ENSO State in Developing Multimodel Combinations. Monthly Weather Review, 2010; 138 (6): 2447 DOI: 10.1175/2009MWR3112.1

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "New methodology improves winter climate forecasting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720101343.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2010, July 21). New methodology improves winter climate forecasting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720101343.htm
North Carolina State University. "New methodology improves winter climate forecasting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720101343.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins