Studying weather patterns and medium- and long-term forecasting requires examining multiple systems interacting with each other in the Earth climate system. The weather we experience occurs in the troposphere, and the atmosphere producing this weather responds to multiple things including land-sea contrasts, radiative and non-radiative (e.g., sensible and latent heat) fluxes, and other forcings. However, weather patterns, especially during the late fall through early spring months, can also be influenced by changes in the atmosphere from above – i.e., by changes in the circulation of the stratosphere. One of these changes come from alterations in the stratospheric polar vortex. In fact, the two layers (troposphere and stratosphere) actually “talk” to each other and thus can be considered coupled.
A main focus of the Furtado Research Group is on extratropical stratosphere – troposphere coupling (i.e., coupling that happens poleward of about 35°N). At these latitudes, the troposphere talks to the stratosphere via
In the Applied Climate Dynamics Research Group, we study multiple facets of stratosphere – troposphere coupling, its utility in extending wintertime subseasonal-to-seasonal forecast skill, and also evaluating how well models resolve these dynamical connections. Some specific projects and interests in the groups include:
- Forecast skill of sudden stratospheric warming events (i.e., complete breakdowns of the polar vortex) in the North American Multi-Model Ensemble Models.
- Simple subseasonal statistical models for temperature, precipitation, and the strength of the jet stream using stratospheric predictors.
- Evaluating the role that the stratospheric polar vortex plays when coupled with different phases of tropical convection.
- Changes in strength and mean position of the Northern Hemisphere polar vortex under future climate change.
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