note that the probability may be increasing. "First, rent of air centered at an altitude of 3000 ft, impacts nearly all coupled ocean-atmosphere models show a weather patterns and, thereby, improve the accuracy decrease in the high-latitude surface salinity when of short-range (0-24 h) weather forecasts along the greenhouse gases increase, as has been the case for West Coast. The experiment, based in Monterey, Cali- some time. The decreased salinity may make the re- fornia, took place from 20 January to 4 March 2001. gion more susceptible to a large event," Stouffer said. Given the impact of these storms on the West Coast, "Second, consistent with the observed 20-30-year in- accurate and timely forecasts and storm watches and crease in the real climate's North Atlantic oscillation warnings have become vitally important. index is a strengthening of the northwesterly winds While NOAA has an extensive network of Doppler blowing across the East Greenland current. If this wind weather radars, weather balloons, advanced satellites, anomaly continues, it could set the stage for a dramatic and surface observing systems across the United climate event in the North Atlantic." States, the Pacific Ocean—where many weather sys- tems form—is data-sparse by comparison. NOA A Experiment Aims to Improve Winter F. Martin Ralph, the project leader from NOAA's Stor m Forecasts along Wes t Coast Environmental Technology Laboratory in Boulder, High winds, heavy rain, and extreme surf conditions Colorado, says forecasters are particularly interested battered West Coast residents this winter, and NOAA in improving the prediction of coastal storms. "Haz- researchers hope a recent experiment will give them ardous weather due to these storms has caused ma- an edge over the storms. This experiment was designed jor loss of life and property in the West Coast states to advance NOAA's understanding and prediction of of California, Oregon, and Washington over the severe Pacific Ocean winter storms. years," said Ralph. High winds, heavy rain, and extreme flooding can The project was called Pacific Landfalling Jets Ex- occur in a very short period of time as these storms periment (PACJET), and was a collaborative effort be- reach land. Ralph believes that by focusing the latest tween NOAA, the U.S. Navy, and other government and university entities. Its goal was to gain further in- technology and tools on this problem, it may help re- sight into how the "low level jet," a fast-moving cur- searchers learn more about the causes of these storms and provide forecasters with better information. The program builds on experience gained from an earlier West Coast project, the California Land-Fall- ing Jets Experiment (CALJET), which was conducted during the strong El Nino winter of 1997-98. That experiment explored the relationship between El Nino and extreme coastal storms. "The local and state emergency management com- munity felt strongly that the data delivered to forecast- ers by CALJET were extremely valuable in saving 1 176 David Scott 2000 lives and property," Ralph said. PACJET expanded the Christopher Phillips 1177 2000 geographic area covered by CALJET to include not 1178 Joe Moreno 2000 only California, but Washington and Oregon, and tar- 1179 James Gregorio 2000 geted the coastal zone, areas for which weather fore- 1180 Fidel Ferro 2000 casts are more difficult to make because data about the 1181 Shane Butler 2000 incoming systems are often not available. 1 182 Randy Brock NW S Western Regional Director Vickie 1 183 Kristi Carson Anderson 2000 Nadolski says this experiment will be invaluable to 1184 Scott E. Hetsko 2000 the forecasters. 1185 Keith Thompson 2001 "Much of what forecasters deal with is dominated 1186 Howard Altschule 2001 by events that happen in the short-term (0-24 h) time- scale, such as flooding or high wind events and issu- ing storm watches and warnings. This experiment will be a great help to us to better understand the influence of the low-level jet and the ocean," said Nadolski. 718 Vol. 82,, No. 4, April 2001
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Apr 1, 2001
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