03/14/2023, 4:25 pm EDT

February 2023 Solar/Wind Verification Report

Climate Impact Company Wind/Solar Verification Report Valid for February 2023 Tuesday March 14, 2023 Discussion: An astounding observation with an uncertain explanation occurred during February. The Central/East-central U.S. observed sharply below normal relative humidity at 850 MB (5,000 feet) while this entire zone was wetter than normal for the final month of meteorological winter (Fig. 1). In fact, Iowa and Michigan were in the top 10 wettest on record while Wisconsin was 5th wettest on record. Despite the late month return of the “atmospheric river” pattern to California, only Southern California observed above normal relative humidity at 5,000 feet. As a review, most rain and snow is generated by cloud cover near or just below the 5,000 foot level. Therefore, the February below normal RH for such a large area is astounding. In the high-level atmosphere near the jet stream axis, above normal RH was observed from the Tennessee Valley to the Mid-Atlantic coastline (Fig. 2). Beneath this zone, Virginia observed their warmest February on record. Fig. 1-2: February 2023 observed 850 MB and 300 MB relative humidity anomalies. The Climate Impact Company 850 MB RH anomaly forecast correctly identified the likely wetter than normal Midwest/Northeast U.S. pattern by forecasting above normal RH (Fig. 3). Despite the correct impression left by this forecast, the RH prediction failed. At 300 MB, the February outlook was very dry (Fig. 4). The observations revealed a normally cloudy month of February except above normal cloudiness in the Mid-Atlantic region. Fig. 3-4: February 2023 forecast of 850 MB and 300 MB relative humidity anomalies. Fig. 5-6: February 2023 observed zonal and meridional wind anomalies. Anomalous wind was barely present in the west-east zonal direction during February (Fig. 5). Exceptions are downslope the northwestern Montana Rockies and parts of the southwest Great Plains. However, the north-south meridional flow produced above normal wind speed anomalies across much of the eastern half of the U.S. while wind speeds were somewhat below normal just-off the U.S. West Coast (Fig. 6). Given the very warm East U.S. regime during February, most of the anomalous wind was from the southerly direction. Fig. 7-8: February 2023 forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies. The Climate Impact Company forecast for February 2023 indicated much of the Far West would observe above normal west-east zonal wind (Fig. 7). The verification indicated zonal wind averaged near normal. The forecast produced below normal zonal wind downslope the Rocky Mountains. Similarly, the wind speeds were near normal in this location. The west-east zonal wind forecast was below normal across New England. Observed wind speeds in the zonal vectors for New England was marginally lighter than normal. The meridional wind direction forecast was lighter than normal for the West Coast and Upper Midwest States (Fig. 8). The lighter than normal north-south meridional wind forecast on the West Coast verified. However, stronger than normal southerlies into the Midwest U.S. were un-forecast.
03/14/2023, 12:38 pm EDT

Western Europe Drought Re-emerging; Patchy Beneficial Rain in Latest Week 2-4 Outlook

The Europe Drought Observatory identifies strengthening drought across parts of Western Europe. Drought is also intensifying in Turkey. The latest week 2-4 outlook indicates some patchy beneficial rain but not enough to turn around dry soil conditions.
03/13/2023, 8:15 am EDT

U.S. FEB-23 and DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23 State Rankings

Highlight: February 2023 and DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23 U.S. Review. Record warm in Virginia for FEB-23; record warm in Massachusetts for DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23. Wisconsin wettest DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23 on record. Discussion: Record warmth greeted Virginia in February 2023 while the entire eastern 40% of the U.S. ranked in the MUCH ABOVE normal temperature category for the last month of meteorological winter (Fig. 1). In fact, 13 states ranked in the top 5 warmest of all time in the East for February. The Great Plains were generally temperate to ABOVE normal while the chilly weather for the month was located across the West, lead by California and Arizona each ranking in the top 15% coldest of all-time. Overall, the U.S. ranked 28th warmest in the 129-year climatology. In February, the U.S. ranked 50th driest in the 129-year climatology. The most extreme precipitation rank was 5th wettest on record in Wisconsin while surrounding states Iowa and Michigan were in the top 10 wettest of all-time (Fig. 2). Conversely, the Coastal Northeast U.S. was quite dry. All Southern New England ranked in the top ten driest on record. The Coastal Southeast and Northwest were also drier than normal to end meteorological winter. Winter 2022-23 ranked 18th warmest on record. The entire East and most of the South U.S. were in the MUCH ABOVE normal category which included an all-time-record warm winter season in Massachusetts while 17 states were in the top 5 warmest all-time (Fig. 3). The West U.S. was moderately chilly averaging in the top 1/3 all-time coldest winter seasons. The winter 2022-23 precipitation ranking was 22nd wettest on record. Wisconsin observed the wettest winter season of the 129-year climatology (Fig. 4). The impressive rain and snow in California ranked 12th wettest all-time. A total of 29 of the 48 contiguous states were wetter than normal during meteorological winter. The Northwest and Florida were the only dry zones.     Fig: 1: NOAA state rankings of temperature for February 2023. Fig: 2: NOAA state rankings of precipitation for February 2023. Fig: 3: NOAA state rankings of temperature for DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23. Fig: 4: NOAA state rankings of precipitation for DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23.        
03/12/2023, 12:49 pm EDT

Strong Madden Julian Oscillation Ends La Nina

The daily southern oscillation index (SOI) is -1.2 which is exceptionally negative especially when compared to the dominant La Nina-like positive phase of the past one year. The shift to negative phase is due to the passage of the convection phase of the Madden Julian oscillation (MJO) through the equatorial East Pacific and onto the Atlantic basin. The MJO strength is exceptional and one of the strongest signatures in recent years.