Reid A Bryson
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 102 Issue 1 March 1993 pp 105-112
Between 1973 and 1986 a group at the University of Wisconsin worked on the use of the periodic portion of climatic time series with the aim of exploring the potential for year-or-more in advance forecasting. This paper reports on the real time verification of the last sets of forecasts made by the group.
From spectra of temperature and cube-rooted precipitation the dominant frequencies were chosen. These were usually related to tidal frequencies. A Fourier series of these dominant terms was then fitted to the dependent data set and future values calculated. These were analyzed for forecast skill, and the skillful Fourier series retained. Real time forecasts were then made. Verification shows a low probability that the forecast skills were obtained by chance. It is suggested that the periodic term might be a useful addition to more standard approaches to long range forecasting.
Volume 102 Issue 1 March 1993 pp 157-173
Evidence is presented of a periodic component in the inter-annual variability of precipitation and pressure data for India during June, the month of the onset of the Indian southwest monsoon. Two frequencies that explain a statistically significant percent of the variance in these data sets are the same as the two that explain most of the variance of the average monthly lunar tidal potential for June. Not only are the frequencies the same but they are also in phase which strongly suggests that lunar tides in the atmosphere do, in fact, produce an element of climatic variability. The amplitude of the atmospheric response to this periodic forcing was not constant in time but was found to be related to the long term change in northern hemispheric surface temperature. This susceptibility of the atmosphere to an external forcing results in a nonlinear relationship between forcing and response. As a result, nonlinear regression had to be used in order to adequately define the magnitude of the response at a given frequency. The ramifications of this nonlinear response are discussed. The nonlinear interaction of the northern hemisphere temperature and the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle results in a modulation of the frequency which appears in a linear spectral analysis near 22 years. Thus, the 22-year cycle often found in meteorological data sets may instead be the result of the modulated nodal cycle.