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New York Facing Revenge of Winter?

UAlbany/Rockefeller Institute Weather Forum Tackles El Niño, the Polar Vortex and the Prospects for the Winter of 2016/17

The potential impact of El Niño and the polar vortex on the upcoming winter season will be a theme of the 2016 UAlbany/Rockefeller Institute of Government weather forum.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 4, 2016) -- After the unusually warm winter of 2015/16, New York State and the Northeast is likely facing much more snow and cold for the coming season, according to meteorologists. The roles played by El Niño and the polar vortex on last year’s anomalous winter weather and their potential role this year will be a theme of the 3rd annual UAlbany/Rockefeller Institute of Government weather forum.

The event, Facing the Storm: El Niño, the Polar Vortex and the Prospects for the Winter of 2016/17, will be held in the Campus Center Ballroom at UAlbany on Thursday, November 10, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The event is Co-Sponsored by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the University at Albany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.

This third annual program will provide more information on the state of the climate in New York State and the Northeast. This year, the forum will include talks that deal with the issue of natural variability, as well as how global climate change has impacted our weather.

The winter of 2015-16 was particularly warm and, while some of this warmth may be consistent with climate change, it is known that there was a strong contribution from the El Niño phenomenon — something that naturally occurs irrespective of climate change.

The warmth this past winter was also influenced by another naturally occurring atmospheric phenomenon, the "polar vortex." This year's conference will include presentations on both of these meteorological events.

In addition to looking at the year ahead, the forum will also provide information about the challenges associated with extreme weather resiliency in New York State, as well as the latest information and innovation in the area of weather and flood prediction.

Panelists participating in the program include:

  • Everette Joseph, director, University at Albany's Atmospheric Sciences Research Center;
  • Andrea Lang, assistant professor, University at Albany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences;
  • Raymond O'Keefe, meteorologist in charge, National Weather Service, Albany Office;
  • Paul Roundy, associate professor, University at Albany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences;
  • Christopher Thorncroft, chair, University at Albany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences; and
  • David Vallee, hydrologist-in-charge, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northeast River Forecast Center

The program will be moderated by NewsChannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano.

The event is supported by UAlbany’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity and the Office of the Vice President for Research, as well the New York State Emergency Management Association for Research for their partnership.

To register, contact Michele Charbonneau at michele.charbonneau@rockinst.suny.edu or by calling (518) 443-5258. The deadline to register is November 7th. The program is free and open to the public and parking will be available for all registered participants.

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