For a mathematician, Joseph Biello spends a lot of time thinking about the weather. But the UC Davis assistant professor isnt looking out the office window. He is using mathematical theory to build a model of the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a tropical weather pattern that influences drought and rainfall in the western U.S.
The Madden-Julian Oscillation was discovered in 1972 when researchers looked closely at meteorological data. It lasts 30 to 60 days and appears as clusters of tropical thunderstorms over the Indian Ocean before sweeping eastward into the Pacific, where it dissipates.
Measured in weeks, the Madden-Julian Oscillation lies in a gray area between short-term weather forecasts and long-term climate studies, said Bryan Weare, a professor of meteorology at UC Davis who also studies the phenomenon. A better understanding of the weather pattern would help with medium-range weather and climate forecasting.
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
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