WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — If you were eagerly looking forward to a 10-day forecast to prepare for an upcoming event, meteorologists could someday make predictions up to three weeks in advance, at least as far as killer heat waves go.
New patterns might help meteorologist predict heat waves up to three weeks in advance instead of just 10 days. (Image source: Shutterstock)
Gerald Meehl co-authored a new study that said an earlier warning would help cities prepare for the heat wave. They could open up cooling centers and arrange check-ins on the elderly.
The key could be a certain pattern of high and low pressure spots across the globe high in the sky. When that pattern shows up, the chances double for a prolonged and intense heat wave in the eastern two-thirds of the United States.
Published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience, the study used a 12,000-year general circulation model to identify patterns of atmospheric variability, the abstract stated.
"We find that heat waves tend to be preceded by 15–20 days by a pattern of anomalous atmospheric planetary waves with a wavenumber of 5," the authors said. "This circulation pattern can arise as a result of internal atmospheric dynamics and is not necessarily linked to tropical heating. We conclude that some mid-latitude circulation anomalies that increase the probability of heat waves are predictable beyond the typical weather forecast range."
Meteorologists said this could predict some types of heat waves but not all.
Now we just have to wait for other advances in meteorological prediction to follow in order to round out the three-week forecast with other weather information.
Featured image via Shutterstock