A new study by two Duke University scientists may help improve seasonal forecasts by providing a new statistical "framework" that meteorologists can use to predict the likely intensity of rainfall for the coming summer.
"Using our new framework, we found that the characteristics of southeastern U.S. rainfall are influenced by multiple climate factors," said Laifang Li, a PhD student in climatology at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. "By identifying which of these climate factors or conditions is occurring, we can make more accurate rainfall intensity forecasts."
The intensity of light rainfall is associated with the combined effects of La Nina and the tri-pole sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) pattern over the North Atlantic, she explained. Strong, heavy rainfall is more likely to occur in years when there is a horseshoe-like SSTA pattern over the north Atlantic. In contrast, moderate rainfall is more likely caused by internal dynamics in the atmosphere and is less correlated with the SSTA.
Li developed the new statistical modeling framework with her doctoral advisor, Wenhong Li, assistant professor of climatology at the Nicholas School.
"Traditionally, probability models treat rainfall samples with a single cluster. These models cannot capture the multi-mode feature of summer rainfall and associated factors that influence precipitation over the Southeast. Our new framework, by comparison, is based on a configuration of a three-cluster finite normal mixture model and is realized using Bayesian inference. Each cluster reflects the characteristics of light, moderate or heavy rainfall," Laifang Li explained.
By using a three-cluster framework, Li and Li found they can better identify the characteristics of rainfall and its underlying physical processes. This allows them to make more accurate seasonal forecasts.
While their current framework is designed specifically to forecast rainfall intensity in the Southeast during the months of June to August, they believe it can be adjusted and extended to other regions and seasons, as well.
"This could be a very useful tool to help us better understand the response of regional hydrology to climate variability and climate change in similar areas around the world," Wenhong Li said.
Li and Li published their finding in a peer-reviewed study in the online, open-access journal Environmental Research Letters.
Funding for the research came from a National Science Foundation grant (AGS-1147608).
CITATION: "Southeastern United States Summer Rainfall Framework and Its Implication for Seasonal Predictions," Laifang Li, Wenhong Li. Environmental Research Letters, Oct. 28, 2013. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/044017
Tim Lucas | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
21.03.2018 | Life Sciences