2002 Annual

Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 11:15 AM
Experimental forecasting of dry season “storminess” over Florida and the southeast United States from the ENSO signal using multiple linear regression techniques
Bartlett C. Hagemeyer, NOAA/NWS, Melbourne, FL; and R. A. Almeida
In a series of studies the author documented the development of a low pressure index (storminess) as a proxy for dry season (November through April) severe weather occurrences in Florida and its relationship with ENSO. In these studies a strong statistical relationship was found between the state of ENSO in the preceding summer and fall to the passage of extratropical cyclones over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Florida in the following dry season. It was also found that the measure of storminess was an excellent statistical proxy for other measures such as seasonal rainfall and seasonal severe weather activity. The author further developed a technique for forecasting Florida dry season storminess from the Climate Prediction Centers observed and predicted values of the NINO 3.4 index using multiple linear regression techniques.

The 2000-2001 dry season was the first full season of real-time experimental forecasting and the results were remarkably accurate: a below normal storminess index of five to six extratropical cyclones or “storms” was predicted and five occurred. Seasonal rainfall and severe weather over the Florida region were also well below normal.

To communicate this experimental seasonal forecast information to potential users, a special web page was designed. The introduction to the web page describes its intended purpose (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/MLB/enso/ENSOmain.html): “This totally redesigned page is an outgrowth of local research at NWS Melbourne on EL Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its impact on Florida dry season severe weather conducted since early 1997. It was produced in recognition of the fact that climatic fluctuations on regional and global scales have been shown to have profound impacts on Florida's weather from season to season. The importance of seasonal forecasts will only grow in the future as Florida becomes more sensitive to extreme weather events every year. There is a need for better understanding of seasonal variability and forecasting. This page will attempt to assimilate a variety of information on seasonal forecasts for Florida in an easy-to-use format. This page has four main goals: 1) Provide a clearinghouse for official NWS NOAA seasonal forecasts and outlooks for the Florida Region 2) Provide an easy way to monitor meteorological measurements of the progress of the seasons through links to official NWS products and experimental locally-produced graphical products 3) Provide experimental graphical dry season forecasts and localized meteorological interpretation of official and experimental forecasts, and 4) Provide educational material to help users such as emergency managers, planners, forecasters and the public to better understand the physical relationships between ENSO and Florida Weather and the predictability of these relationships to better aid preparedness and mitigation efforts. Potential users of this page must read the disclaimer (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/MLB/enso/mlb-disclaimer.html) before proceeding.”

In addition to a summary of the statistical methodology and results from the 2000-2001 seasonal forecast, the author will present recent work in developing experimental regional forecasts of storminess for south, central and north Florida and for selected major cities in the southern United States to see if multiple linear regression forecast techniques provide statistically significant results outside of the Florida region.

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