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.