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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Dec 7;96(25):14210-5.

Residual delay maps unveil global patterns of atmospheric nonlinearity and produce improved local forecasts.

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1
Deutsche Bank Securities Limited, 402 West Broadway, Suite 2050, San Diego, CA 92101, USA.

Abstract

We use residual-delay maps of observational field data for barometric pressure to demonstrate the structure of latitudinal gradients in nonlinearity in the atmosphere. Nonlinearity is weak and largely lacking in tropical and subtropical sites and increases rapidly into the temperate regions where the time series also appear to be much noisier. The degree of nonlinearity closely follows the meridional variation of midlatitude storm track frequency. We extract the specific functional form of this nonlinearity, a V shape in the lagged residuals that appears to be a basic feature of midlatitude synoptic weather systems associated with frontal passages. We present evidence that this form arises from the relative time scales of high-pressure versus low-pressure events. Finally, we show that this nonlinear feature is weaker in a well regarded numerical forecast model (European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts) because small-scale temporal and spatial variation is smoothed out in the grided inputs. This is significant, in that it allows us to demonstrate how application of statistical corrections based on the residual-delay map may provide marked increases in local forecast accuracy, especially for severe weather systems.

PMID:
10588685
PMCID:
PMC24416
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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