TJ1.5 Europe’s “Beast from the East” (February 2018): Predictability at Subseasonal Leads

Monday, 7 January 2019: 3:00 PM
North 128AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Michael J. Ventrice, The Weather Company/IBM, Andover, MA

There is growing interest in the sub-seasonal prediction (i.e., Forecast Weeks 3-5) of temperature and precipitation in nearly all facets of business. For example, knowing whether temperatures may be unusually hot or cold helps predict whether there will be increased or decreased electricity/natural gas demand in a particular market and can alter the decision-making process of a business. Failing to anticipate large movements in price in the natural gas market can have a direct impact on the economic performance of a utility or energy trading company for a given year. Communicating confidence in the sub-seasonal forecast is also of key importance to accomplish affirmative action for the decision maker (who is utilizing the forecast). The latter half of the winter of 2017-2018 will be discussed to illustrate a time where there was enhanced predictability of European temperatures at sub-seasonal leads. This enhanced predictability is attributed to a Major Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event that took place in February 2018. In February, Europe experienced highly anomalous cold weather in which the phrase, “Beast from the East”, was coined. An analysis of how numerical weather models handled the series of events that led to the Europe cold wave will be given, and how communication of the event was handled with IBM clients vested in the European natural gas market.
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