Apr 7, 2011

Signature Patterns & Backyard Temperature Forecast

I have been hedging my bets for this weekends warm-up to take place for many weeks now. I am able to because of my confidence in Lezak's Recurring Cycle. Each time through the cycle at OSNW3 this pattern has produced multiple days that were 10+ degrees above the Oshkosh average maximum temperature.

Nov 8-12 (+15°)
Dec 30-31, Jan 1 (+17°)
Feb 14-18 (+12°)

10+ degrees above average on any day between Apr 7-11 would put OSNW3 into the 60's. These types of temperatures will feel mighty nice after enduring the last gasp of winter the past two weeks. For an interactive look at this particular pattern I would suggest opening each of the 500mb maps, linked below, in their own browser tab. Then move the maps forward in time from each instance to the dates mentioned above paying particular attention to the movement of the atmosphere. It is evident a warm up was coming months ago due to the cycling pattern.

- Nov 5, 2010
- Dec 26, 2010
- Feb 14, 2011

(500mb Heights - 14 days centered on dates above and Apr 5, 2011)

One can do the same thing for the cold snap that followed the Great Lakes Cyclone, more popularly known as this years LRC 'signature' storm, by opening the links below and working through them as explained above. A persistent northwest flow set up ushering in cooler than average air.

- Oct 26, 2010
- Dec 11, 2010
- Feb 1, 2011
- Mar 23, 2011

(500mb Heights - 14 days centered on dates above)

More in depth information about these particular patterns within this years LRC can be found in the WeatherWatch12 and LRCweather blogs. Following these and other cycle analysis blogs acts as a catalyst for taking the bull by the horns. Recently I have been working with OSNW3 surface data attempting to forecast temperatures using the LRC. I came up with a very crude and simplistic formula that proved to have a 50% verification within a 10-15 degree range during the previous cycles 3 and 4. A good success rate for predicting temperatures a month or more in advance in my opinion. See graphs below for an analysis of previous cycles and a backyard temperature forecast through mid May using the formula. A larger view of each graph can be found by clicking on the image. The forecast graph for cycle 5 says it should certainly be near or above 60 here at OSNW3 this weekend!

The formula I created finds the mean deviation from the 30 year average for the particular day using the temp from that day, the day before and the day after within each cycle. The graph legend consists of the following acronyms. Cycle Max (CycMax), Cycle Min (CycMin), Forecast Max Temp (ForMaxT), Forecast Max Temp Range Hi (ForMaxTRH, Forecast Max Temp Range Lo (ForMaxTRL), Actual Max Temp at OSNW3 (ActualMaxT), and the Oshkosh Average Max Temp (OshAvgMaxT).

If there are any questions about my research or how I presented the material just let me know in the comments section of the blog. Thanks!