Mar 2, 1989

The 1988 US drought linked to anomalous sea surface temperature

T. N. Palmer, Č. Branković
  • States that the 1988 drought in the United States has been widely reported, not least as an indicator of the reality of the "greenhouse effect"
  • Studies 30-day forecasts of the atmospheric flow over the United States using a complex numerical weather-prediction model initialized with data from May 1987 and May 1988
  • Conducts an experiment with 1988 initial conditions and 1987 sea surface temperatures 
  • The results indicate that much of the difference between the 1987 and 1988 forecasts was associated with interannual variability in sea surface temperature
  • These results suggest that the US drought was linked to anomalous oceanic conditions in the tropical Pacific