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Using analog years for accurate long range climate forecasts. - 11.23.04


Doc Weather uses decade long eclipse rhythms to form analogs for the forecasts. Find out how this is done in this article.

Climatologists use past weather patterns to predict future trends. To do this they use analog years in which the weather patterns were similar to the coming season. At best the accuracy for these analogs is limited to a month or so in advance. In Doc Weather there is a totally different kind of analog year used to make the predictions that have proven accurate a year in advance. The formation of these analog years is based on the position of the eclipse points in specific longitudes. The semi-annual shift of eclipse points creates decades long rhythms that link years in series. The set of years that share common eclipse positions in longitude form the basis for climate analysis used in Doc Weather. The decade long rhythms of eclipse positions form a reliable backdrop for climate study.

In every season there are weather patterns that dominate in different sections of the country N American Climate Patterns Warm air currents rising from the south and cold air currents descending from the north are the source of these patterns. Precipitation occurs where the cold and warm currents meet. In certain seasons warm currents dominate in a specific area and in other seasons cold currents dominate. For instance, in the Midwest cold air from the north dominates during the winter and warm air from the south dominates in the summer. These seasonal patterns are the basis for understanding the climatology of a specific area.


Fig.1


Fig.1

However, in some summers cool air dominates the Midwest for long periods of time. In order for this to happen the jet stream, a current of rapidly moving air in the upper atmosphere, needs to steer up north into Canada on the West Coast. This is depicted in figure 1. The agent that would steer the jet stream north on the West Coast would be the formation of a very strong high-pressure area or blocking ridge over the West Coast in the summer. Ridges block the flow of the storms that are traveling on the jet stream. To be able to locate the position of ridges is a great aid in climate study. In normal years there is a strong high-pressure blocking ridge over Hawaii but it doesn't usually push up far enough into the Pacific Northwest to bring down a cold trough into the Midwest. The placement of a blocking ridge over the Pacific Northwest forms a trough to the east that is the usual path of storms coming from the north into the Midwest. We could ask what would cause a ridge to push up in order to bring unusual seasonal cold trough to the Midwest in summer?


Fig.2


Fig.2

Doc Weather tries to answer this by looking at the position of eclipses as a way to understand climate. From each eclipse point Doc Weather draws a set of curves that have proven to pinpoint areas of potential ridge formation no matter where they are on the map. These sensitive areas at 45° and 72° from the eclipse position are known in Doc Weather as jet curves
They can be relied upon to be the favored areas where ridges will form during the six month period that is between one eclipse and another. Jet curves are depicted in figure 2. In a given season, the jet curves from the last eclipse tend to be the places where unusual events connected to the placement of blocking ridges will be most likely to occur. Since the eclipse points travel in an east to west movement through an eighteen and a half year period the position of potential blocking ridges travels along with them. Doc Weather has found that this rhythmic motion of the eclipse points and the jet curves associated with them gives great insight into the climatic patterns of the past and of the future.

The seasonal reports in Doc Weather are given in the context of the placement of the jet curves in a particular year. Case studies of analog years when the eclipse points were in similar positions are the basis for the climate predictions found in Doc Weather. In normal climatology case studies are made on the basis of years in which the weather patterns are similar. In Doc Weather analog years may have very different climate patterns. This is because analog years in Doc Weather are based on the common placement of the eclipse points and jet curves when seen in the context of planetary motion in relation to the eclipse points. Whether a jet curve is the site of a ridge or a trough in a given year, is due to the motion of the planets near to the jet curves in that year. The varying influences of these different positions of the planets moving near to or away from the eclipse points in a given season is the basis for the predictions.


Fig.3


Fig.3

In practice, there are three zones used in Doc Weather as the fundamental areas of potential ridge or trough formation. The first zone is at high latitudes in the longitude of the eclipse points themselves. This is the eclipse zone (red). The second zone is at mid latitudes approximately 45° from the eclipse points. This is the 45° jet curve zone (green). The third zone is where 72° jet curves from one eclipse point cross 72° jet curves from the reflex (opposite) eclipse position. This 72° zone is the premier high latitude area for the formation of ridges or persistent troughs in the eclipse grid. In Doc Weather this crossing point of the 72° jet curves is known as the eclipse diamond (yellow).


Fig.4


Fig.4

In figures 4 and 5 we can see what happens when every six months, the eclipse points shift causing the whole grid to rotate to the west. This means that if in the first set of eclipses (red lines) the 45° zone falls over the central Gulf of Alaska.


Fig.5


Fig.5

Then in the following set of eclipses (blue lines) the 45° zone will be over the western Gulf of Alaska. The first set of eclipses (red lines) would place the 72° zone over the Midwest and High Plains. While the second set of eclipses (blue lines) places the disturbance diamond over the western states of the Great Basin. In addition, after the second set of eclipses, the other 45° zone from the eastern set of eclipse points will then be over the East Coast instead of out over the western Atlantic where it was placed for the first set. These motions strongly effect the placement of any blocking ridges over the continent for that particular period.

The linking of these eclipse zones and the climatic realities of the particular geographical areas they overshadow makes up the profile of a given seasonal regime. In Doc Weather the unfolding planetary motions that activate this grid of zones are the heart of the forecast. In the seasonal outlook Doc Weather will point out particular areas of interest in the coming season and establish time frames for observation of specific phenomena based on planetary motion seen against the backdrop of the jet curves of similar analog years.