Evaluation of Extended Period Forecasting Technique.
Annual rept. 1 Jun 77-31 Aug 78,
OLD DOMINION UNIV NORFOLK VA DEPT OF GEOPHYSICAL SCIENCES
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This project was undertaken to establish a statistical correlation between solar activity and atmospheric circulation patterns. Solar activity data used were sunspot numbers and changes occurring in sunspot numbers over three- and five-day periods, and meteorological data included the frequency of ridges, troughs, and low-pressure systems in key locations off the east and west coasts of North America. Numerous combinations of input data demonstrated only subtle correlations however, when one considers the smallness of the solar energy variations in relation to the magnitude of circulation responses, even a subtle relationship indicated too strong a probability of solar influence on weather circulation patterns to be ignored. Hence part of the research effort during the past year was directed toward discovering a physical mechanism to explain the types of circulation behavior observed. One such mechanism is possibly the stratospheric warming induced by increased intensity of ultraviolet radiation during solar active periods. A qualitative concept of how this warming and stratification of the atmosphere could assist the atmosphere in more effectively converting potential energy to kinetic energy was developed, and plans for a simple numerical model to quantify this concept are underway. Author