Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Nicholas Schiraldi

Second Advisor

Philippe Pappin

Third Advisor

Paul Roundy

Abstract

Heat and cold episodes in the continental United States (U.S.) affect millions of people each year. Severe episodes can cause crop damage, power failure, heat stress and hypothermia. The predictability of these extreme events decreases significantly after one week. It is, therefore, essential for scientists to discover new ways to forecast these events weeks in advance, which will provide society ample of prior warning to prepare. The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is one of the largest drivers of weather in the tropics (Madden and Julian 1971, 1994). Previous studies have found relationships between the MJO and midlatitude modes of climatic variability, such as the Pacific-North American mode (PNA), the Arctic Oscillation (AO), and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) (Zhou and Miller 2005; L’Heureux and Higgins 2008). Little work has been done on the relationship between the magnitude of cold (warm) events and the MJO amplitude. This study will focus in looking into what type of MJO events lead to a strong cold (warm) events over the Continental United States.

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