Jul 5, 2016

Persistent cold air outbreaks in a warmer world

Northeastern US
by
Yang Gao, Ruby Leung and Jian Lu
,
Weather Underground
Mean winter cold air outbreak durations during 1981-2000 from the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble mean (left) and from the ERA-Interim global reanalysis (right). Image: Gao, Leung and Lu
Mean winter cold air outbreak durations during 1981-2000 from the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble mean (left) and from the ERA-Interim global reanalysis (right). Image: Gao, Leung and Lu

Analysis of climate projections from an ensemble of multi-models tells us [cold air outbreaks will continue in the future as global warming continues], although they will be less frequent as the atmosphere warms. Currently, North America experiences more invasions of cold air along a swath that stretches from Alaska and southwestern Canada to northwestern and midwestern United States than elsewhere. Climate models consistently project that cold air outbreaks over these areas will see smaller reductions compared to other regions