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Home Weather Tropical rainfall and sea surface temperature link could improve forecasts

Tropical rainfall and sea surface temperature link could improve forecasts

By: Chris Holloway  and the University of Reading Press Office. 

Tropical rainfall, averaged on seasonal time scales, is influenced way more strongly by close by sea temperatures in the actual world than in nearly all local weather simulations, scientists have discovered, paving the way in which for extra correct international climate forecasts.

A staff led by Dr Peter Good on the Met Office and together with Dr Chris Holloway on the University of Reading Meteorology Department studied the impact of tropical sea surface temperatures and ensuing wind patterns on seasonal rainfall within the area by filtering out different influences, revealing a stronger relationship in the actual world than that simulated by 43 of 47 local weather fashions studied.

The research, revealed in Nature, used new evaluation of satellite tv for pc observations and different meteorological knowledge and additionally discovered that necessary low-altitude wind patterns within the wider tropical area have been stronger than most fashions simulate.  Deficiencies within the simulation of low-altitude cloud cowl have been highlighted as a possible trigger of those discrepancies.

Weather and local weather patterns within the tropics are identified to have a knock-on impact on climate 1000’s of miles away. This implies that the findings could assist improve seasonal climate forecasts for Europe, in addition to longer-term local weather predictions.

Dr Chris Holloway stated: “Global climate and local weather fashions proceed to have errors in simulating and predicting tropical rainfall patterns. Limited high quality measurements of tropical rainfall and atmospheric circulation have additionally made it obscure and rectify these errors.

“In our research, we have been capable of filter out interactions between distant areas to concentrate on the connection between sea surface temperatures, rainfall and tropical winds inside a specific area, displaying us how a lot the fashions are underestimating the rise of rainfall that accompanies a hotter sea surface temperature.

“Resolving these discrepancies between models and the real world can make a big difference to how accurately we can predict the weather or how much confidence we have in projections of regional climate change in the future.”


Good, P., Chadwick, R., Holloway, C.E., Kennedy, J., Lowe, J. A., Roehrig, R. and Rushley, S. S.  High sensitivity of tropical precipitation to native sea-surface temperature. Nature (2020).     (free read-only PDF)


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