The Madden Julian Oscillation and its relationship with boreal winter month temperatures over the eastern U.S

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 11:45 AM
Room C114 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Adam K.S. Simkowski, Mississippi State University, ACES, Indianapolis, IN

In the energy industry, foreknowledge of upcoming temperature fluctuations provides an advantage to companies. Recently, a relationship between the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) and North American mid-latitude synoptic patterns in the boreal winter months has been observed. Despite these recent advances, the use of MJO phases to predict upcoming temperature fluctuations in the eastern United States remains cumbersome. As a result, the feasibility of using the MJO for predicting synoptic scale pattern changes in the eastern United States is assessed. Using the Wheeler and Hendon RMM1 and 2 indices as an indicator of MJO phase, the association between the MJO and boreal winter month temperatures over the eastern United States (U.S.) was analyzed. Daily average temperature data was collected from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) from 10 cities across the eastern U.S. for November through February 1979-2012. The temperature data were grouped into three geospatial areas: the eastern U.S., Midwest, and East Coast. The Midwest and East Coast make up the eastern U.S. geographically and were evaluated to determine a regional bias of the MJO's influence over the eastern U.S. The temperature data were transformed to daily standardized temperature anomalies for a given month for all years of the study period. These anomalies were compared to daily MJO RMM1 and RMM2 data by multivariate linear regression. In general, a weak linear relationship was found between the MJO and eastern U.S. temperatures. A 25.75% R2 value in January over the eastern U.S. was noted, allowing some predictability of temperature fluctuations using MJO patterns.