Weather forecasting; numerical weather prediction models; tropical cyclones; atmospheric predictability
UAlbany atmospheric scientist Ryan Torn is part of an elite team of researchers working with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, to improve the models that forecast thunderstorms.
The Mesoscale Predictability Experiment (MPEX) will be conducted through June 15 and take advantage of the known high frequency of widespread, severe storm outbreaks over the Great Plains region. Read more.
weather patterns; prediction models; tropical cyclone formation; hurricanes
Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Paul Roundy studies waves of the tropical atmosphere and ocean and how these waves interact with one another and with atmospheric moist deep convection to modulate global weather and climate. Areas of emphasis include analysis of observations to study modulation of tropical cyclogenesis and the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) by convectively coupled waves and intraseasonal oscillations.
Dr. Roundy also contributes to Weather and Climate Blog for the Times Union newspaper in Albany, N.Y.
Tropical weather and climate; monsoons, hurricanes
With Hurricane Irene upgraded to a Category 3 storm and with it the potential to threaten much of the East Coast in the coming days, Hurricane Season -- which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30 in the Atlantic Ocean -- takes on added signficance.
UAlbany Professor and Chair of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Chris Thorncroft discusses the process by which weather experts predict the upcoming season, the power of hurricanes, and the potential impact on the United States' eastern seaboard and gulf coast.
Q. How do meteorologists predict the expected number of storms in advance of the season?
A: Among the key factors that impact the number of Atlantic hurricanes in a season are the sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the main development region where most hurricanes form. When the SSTs are warmer than normal there tends to be more hurricanes and when SSTs are colder than normal there tends to be less.
The reason that meteorologists are able to predict the number of hurricanes a season ahead is because SSTs change very slowly; so slowly that a warm or cold anomaly observed in June can persist for months or years. Thus, if we know, for example, that the Atlantic was warmer than normal in June it would likely be warmer than normal for much of the hurricane season and so we would expect an active hurricane season. Read the full Q&A.