This paper will show how the use of climate data with numerical guidance aided in identifying a range of high impact weather events. The focus is on weather events in the Great Lakes region. Climate forecast system and NCEP model data is compared to the 21-day centered means and standard deviations using standardized anomalies.
Two historic winter storms from the winter of 2011, the events of 31 January 2011 and 2 February are examined. These data show that there were clear signals in the low-level easterly wind and pressure anomalies indicating a potential high impact winter storm. This approach is also applied to the 17-23 July 2010 flooding event in the western Great Lakes. During this event, a large subtropical ridge brought a plume of anomalously high moisture into the region during the flood episode. The anomalies in the precipitable water field showed the strong surge of moisture within the well-recognized ring-of-fire return flow around the subtropical ridge.