Climatologist Inna Latysheva analyzed the weather conditions of the past summer. The scientist identified them as contrasting and told what we should expect from winter.
Inna Latysheva heads the base department of the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences – the Department of Meteorology and Physics of Near-Earth Space of the Geographical Faculty of Irkutsk State University.
The intrigues of the Mongolian anticyclone
Inna Valentinovna, after a contrasting summer, should we expect a contrasting winter? And what could it be like, this contrasting winter?
Inna Latysheva: Following a contrasting summer in modern climatic conditions, there is a high probability of a contrasting winter. It is determined not only by the frequent change of heat or cold waves, but also by the increase in their intensity and duration in certain regions, mainly remote from the softening effect of the oceans.
A striking example is the territory of the Irkutsk region, where, under conditions of climate warming, the cooling effect of the mainland and the winter center of the atmosphere, the Mongolian (Asian) anticyclone, remains. Depending on the dynamics of the latter, the winter months can be abnormally warm or abnormally cold.
For example, the winter of 2020 in the north of the region was record-breaking warm: on some days the air warmed up to minus 4 ° С. But January 2021 here was abnormally cold with temperatures dropping to minus 46 ° C and below. Moreover, often, when the winters are cold in the north of the Irkutsk region, in the south they are warmer than the climatic norm and vice versa.
Summer in contrast
In your study of weather conditions in Siberia last summer, you noted that in the north of the Irkutsk region it was abnormally warm, and in the south – within the climatic norm. What is the reason for this temperature contrast?
Inna Latysheva: The reason is in the conditions that have developed in the European part of Russia and in the Northern Hemisphere. In most of this territory, the summer of 2021 was abnormally warm. In June it was very hot in the European part of Russia, in the Far East and in Yakutia. In July, this trend continued, with heat records recorded in Yakutia and the Far East.
August became the hottest in the history of meteorological observations in Russia, exceeding the previous record in 2016. But between the abnormally warm zones, a cold center formed, which caused June frosts in the southern and central regions of the Angara region. Then the temperature dropped to -2 … -4 ° С. At the same time, in the north of the region, the average temperatures in June were 1 – 2 ° C higher than the climatic norm.
In July-August, in the south of the Irkutsk region, temperatures and precipitation were close to the climatic norm, while in the north it was record-breaking warm and dry.
According to forecasts, last summer no abnormal heat was expected, hence no large forest fires. However, everything turned out to be different. Why?
Inna Latysheva: Let me remind you that forecasts are probabilistic in nature. And as the so-called “climate swing” sways more and more, it becomes more difficult to predict climate change, even at short intervals.
Ten days is the limit
What predictions (for how long) can you trust today?
Inna Latysheva: In conditions of high non-stationarity of the Earth’s atmosphere and its turbulent nature, there is objectively a limit of predictability of weather conditions, which is 7-10 days.
It is approximately equal to the average life cycle of atmospheric eddies – cyclones and anticyclones, which determine the change in weather characteristics.
As for forecasts for a month or more, then, of course, these are probabilistic forecasts. Their success will increase with the improvement of numerical models and a deeper understanding of the complex physics of the atmosphere itself.
What needs to be done in new, “contrasting” conditions to increase the accuracy of forecasts. Technical equipment? Change methods?
Inna Latysheva: In my opinion, more attention should be paid to local forms of manifestation of large-scale processes, taking into account the extremely heterogeneous relief of individual regions of Russia. And also use the capabilities of geographic information systems.
As for observations, without the development of an upper-air network, especially in the Asian part of Russia, without sounding the atmosphere and introducing radar stations, there can be no talk of high accuracy in weather forecasting.
Perhaps, one should take into account the experience of the second half of the 20th century, when physico-statistical methods of weather forecasting based on long-term observations were actively developed. And, of course, we need qualified specialists. Without attracting competent personnel, one should not rely on accurate weather forecasts or the development of meteorology in general.
Where summer was abnormal
Inna Latysheva listed the climatic records of this summer, which attracted the attention of scientists:
– A very hot summer was in China, in northern Africa, in the southwestern United States. High temperatures against the backdrop of a lack of precipitation turned into large forest fires on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, the southwestern United States, Yakutia and the Chelyabinsk region.
And when cyclones appeared, the record heat was accompanied by record rainfall in the south of Russia and the Far East. Severe floods were noted in the Crimea and Germany, where, along with the atmospheric factor, an inhomogeneous relief played an important role in increasing precipitation.
Heavy rainfalls were noted this summer in the Irkutsk region. But mainly – against the background of the development of local clouds. They are formed as a result of condensation of water vapor in the rising and cooling air. They can be tracked using satellite data.
Source: Российская Газета by rg.ru.
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