News
01/14/2023, 12:55 pm EST

December 2022 Wind/Solar Verification Report

Climate Impact Company Wind/Solar Verification Report Valid for December 2022 Discussion: Evolution of an “atmospheric river (AR)” pattern striking California developed during late December. The increasing mild maritime Pacific influence on the U.S. weather pattern wiped out a historic although brief arctic outbreak striking the Central and East U.S. prior to Christmas Day. The December 2022 relative humidity (RH) verification at 850 MB (5,000 feet) clearly indicates persistent dense cloud cover developing across California due to the evolving Pacific storm track (Fig. 1). As the Pacific air mass moved across the Continental Divide and dried, the 5,000 foot moisture east of the Divide was minimal. Above normal RH at 850 MB (5,000 feet) was also observed over the Lower Mississippi River Valley. In the upper atmosphere (300 MB/30,000 feet), cirrus cloudiness was above normal in the Southwest/West-central U.S. (Fig. 2). Elsewhere, high cloudiness was near normal. The December 2022 forecast issued in November indicates widespread below normal RH at 850 MB/5,000 feet anticipating a quiet month for storms (Fig. 3). While that forecast was essentially correct the first half of December, later in the month the development of the AR pattern changed the regime. The December 2022 RH forecast at 300 MB/30,000 feet issued in November called for dryness/increased sunlight over the West U.S. and Florda (Fig. 4). Verification indicated much more cloudiness across the West. Fig. 1-2: December 2022 observed 850 MB and 300 MB relative humidity anomalies. Fig. 3-4: December 2022 forecast of 850 MB and 300 MB relative humidity anomalies. In December 2022, zonal wind speed anomalies were below normal for much of the U.S. except stronger-than-normal across the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains (Fig. 5). The meridional wind speeds were somewhat stronger than normal in December for California, Southwest U.S., South-central States and the Great Lakes region (Fig. 6). The forecast for December indicated stronger wind than verification across the Northwest U.S. and western Texas (Fig. 7). The meridional wind anomaly forecast for December was too light on the West Coast and too strong in the East (Fig. 8). Fig. 5-6: December 2022 observed zonal and meridional wind anomalies. Fig. 7-8: December 2022 forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies.
01/12/2023, 8:43 am EST

U.S. Wind/Solar Outlook for February/March 2023

EXPERIMENTAL Zonal/Meridional Wind Anomaly Forecast EXPERIMENTAL Relative Humidity Anomaly Forecast Valid: February and March 2023 (DEC-22 verification issued later) Executive summary: The most prominent positive wind speed anomalies for February are above normal zonal (westerly) wind in the Northwest States and above normal (northerly) meridional wind across the northwest Great Plains. Most of the Great Plains average below normal meridional wind in February. Once again, both zonal and meridional wind speed anomalies are below normal in the Great Plains/Upper Midwest (SPP region) during March. However, both the Northwest and Texas (ERCOT) observe above normal wind speeds during early meteorological spring. Relative humidity forecasts to determine low and high cloud amount anomalies feature an exceptionally cloudy February across the Ohio Valley and Northeast U.S. The Northwest States are also cloudier than normal in February with a similar March forecast especially near the coast. February shows mixed results for primary solar power generating areas in the Southwest U.S. while the March forecast indicates exceptional solar potential across that region. Methodology discussion: The February/March 2023 zonal/meridional wind and solar forecast is based on a constructed analog (CA). The wind speed/relative humidity anomaly forecast to generate estimated wind/solar potential is experimental. Zonal (west-east) and meridional (north-south) anomalies are projected for wind generation use. The relative humidity at 850 MB (5,000 feet) is used to project low cloud potential interference with sunlight and similarly at 300 MB (30,000 feet) to project sunlight potential interference from high (cirrus) clouds.    Climate discussion: The Climate Impact Company constructed analog (CIC-CA) forecast is based on a historical correlation of similar regional SSTA patterns in both the tropics and middle/northern latitudes and corresponding climate. During February/March 2023, leading contributors to the forecast are an expected decelerating La Nina, persistent warm SSTA in the central/east-central East Pacific and western North Atlantic basins, and presence of a cool pool of SSTA south-southeast of Greenland known as the North Atlantic warm hole.     February/March 2023 wind forecast: In February, the U.S. can expect a cold start to the month with moderation the second half of the month. The coldest weather is forecast for the Central U.S. The wind direction/speed regime across the U.S. will be highly variable during February especially in the Central U.S. where strong northerlies and easterlies are likely the first half of the month and milder southerly component wind develops the second half of the month. Last year, the Great Plains observed two cold outbreaks, one early in the month and the second during the final third of the month. This year, most of the February chill is during the first half of the month. Most prominent in February is the below normal meridional (north/south) wind speed forecast in the Midwest which is surprising given exceptional northerlies expected during early month. Note the below normal zonal wind across the northwest Plains where north/south wind is more dominant in February. Implied is lack of warming chinook-style wind events for the northwest Great Plains. Across most of the West, above normal zonal wind is expected due to stronger than normal westerlies off the Pacific. ERCOT can expect below normal (meridional) wind speeds in northwest sections during February although westerlies are stronger than normal for western Texas during the month. The March forecast is trending warmer (and drier) across the Southwest U.S. with mixed cold and mild periods in the East expected. Strongest wind anomalies are across ERCOT where stronger than normal westerlies and southerlies are indicated. The Northwest U.S. also has stronger (Pacific) westerlies. Both lighter than normal zonal and meridional wind speeds are forecast for the Upper Midwest to the southern Great Plains (SPP region) in March. The Northeast States from New England to New York and Pennsylvania are expected to observe below normal wind speeds. Fig. 1-2: The experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies for the U.S. during February 2023. Fig. 3-4: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies for the U.S. during March 2023. February/March 2023 solar forecast: In February, the relative humidity (RH) forecast is exceptionally high across the northeast quadrant of the U.S. at 850 MB (5,000 feet). This scenario implies above normal cloudiness and precipitation in this sector for late meteorological winter. The thermal regime is mixed, averaging warmer than normal. The precipitation type is biased rainfall closer to the coast and snowfall in the Appalachian Mountains westward. Wet RH values also appear in Washington/Oregon due to the Pacific storm track. The “atmospheric river” pattern slamming California during January does not return in February (or March). The high (cirrus) cloud forecast for February based on the RH anomaly prediction at 300 MB (30,000 feet) is generally much below normal for most of the U.S. to close meteorological winter. In March, the two wet zones are the Missouri/Ohio Valleys and coastal Northwest U.S. Each location has above normal RH forecast at 850 MB for March. However, the 850/300 MB RH anomaly forecasts elsewhere are somewhat below normal indicating above normal solar generation potential for key areas in ERCOT and the Southwest U.S.   Fig. 5-6: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of 850 MB (low cloud) and 300 MB (high cloud) relative humidity anomalies for the U.S. during February 2023. Fig. 7-8: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of 850 MB (low cloud) and 300 MB (high cloud) relative humidity anomalies for the U.S. during March 2023.  
01/11/2023, 8:01 am EST

La Nina Continues but Dissipation Expected by March and El Nino Risk is There for Second Half of 2023

La Nina is moderate strength right now. Weakening is expected. The weakening of La Nina occurs due to a transient tropical convection oscillation know as the Madden Julian oscillation (MJO) which shuts down trade winds and allows warm subsurface waters to shift eastward from the equatorial subsurface near and west of the Dateline. The second of 4 expected MJO events is occurring now.
01/10/2023, 1:20 pm EST

The December 2022 U.S. Climate Rankings by State and the 2022 Annual State Rankings

The December 2022 U.S. Climate Rankings by State and the 2022 Annual State Rankings; Highlight: December arctic blast but month manages near normal.    Fig: 1: NOAA state rankings for temperature during December 2022. December 2022 U.S. climate rankings discussion: Remarkably, despite a harsh arctic outbreak in December, the U.S. temperature averaged almost exactly normal and ranked 64 (of 128 years) which is right in the middle (Fig. 1). The cold region was the Great Plains, Montana and Washington although not particularly impressive. Sixteen states were warmer than normal including MUCH ABOVE normal in Maine. The precipitation ranking was 35th wettest (of 128 years) and included the wettest December on record for North Dakota (Fig. 2). California to the North-central U.S. was wetter than normal while much of the Northeast Corridor was also wetter than normal. Only 5 states were drier than normal centered on the eastern Ohio Valley and Georgia/Florida. Fig: 2: NOAA state rankings for precipitation during December 2022. Annual 2022 U.S. climate rankings discussion: The contiguous U.S. ranked 18th warmest (of 128 years) in 2022. Many states were MUCH ABOVE normal including most of the West, Texas, Florida and the Northeast U.S. (Fig. 3). All states were warmer than normal except the Upper Midwest/Midwest States. The precipitation ranking was 27th driest (of 128 years) including MUCH BELOW normal precipitation in California, Nebraska, and Texas (Fig. 4). Of course, true of climate patterns during the climate change era, long-term climate across a region such as long-term dryness in California has encountered a historic wet regime so far in January. Most states were drier than normal in 2022. The wetter than normal states included North Dakota, Virginia and the central/northern Appalachian Mountains. Fig: 3: NOAA state rankings for temperature during the year of 2022. Fig: 4: NOAA state rankings for precipitation during the year of 2022.