Academic Commons

Articles

Diagnosis of Anomalous Winter Temperatures over the Eastern United States during the 2002/03 El Niño

Goddard, Lisa M.; Kumar, Arun; Hoerling, Martin P.; Barnston, Anthony G.

The eastern United States experienced an unusually cold winter season during the 2002/03 El Niño event. The U.S. seasonal forecasts did not suggest an enhanced likelihood for below-normal temperatures over the eastern United States in that season. A postmortem analysis examining the observed temperatures and the associated forecast is motivated by two fundamental questions: what are these temperature anomalies attributable to, and to what extent were these temperature anomalies predictable? The results suggest that the extreme seasonal temperatures experienced in the eastern United States during December–February (DJF) 2002/03 can be attributed to a combination of several constructively interfering factors that include El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific, a persistent positive Pacific–North American (PNA) mode, a persistent negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) mode, and persistent snow cover over the northeastern United States. According to the simulations and predictions from several dynamical atmospheric models, which were not rigorously included in the U.S. forecast, much of the observed temperature pattern was potentially predictable.

Files

Also Published In

Title
Journal of Climate
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI3930.1

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Published Here
March 30, 2016
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.