Earth  ID: 3903

Modeled Precipitation Difference Between 2010 Snowmageddon Event and Winter of 2000

Three major snowstorms hit the east coast of the United States in the winter of 2009-2010. Scientists then posed the following question: What was the role of climate variability during this extreme winter? Utilizing high end computing resources at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, scientists employed the use of the GEOS-5 atmospheric model in an ensemble of simulations to answer this question. Two case studies were produced. One was the winter of 2009-2010 and the other was the same months during the winter of 1999-2000. 50 member ensembles of high resolution simulations were run (each 3-months long beginning on December 1st for each winter).

The resulting findings were that GEOS-5 simulations forced with observed Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) reproduce observed changes, including enhanced storminess along the United States east coast. The ensemble members showed that this is a robust response, and verified that anomalous weather events over the U.S. are, to a large extent, driven by El Niño SST. Furthermore, North Atlantic SST contributes to the coolor (snow-producing) temperatures along the U.S. east coast.

By subtracting the results of the 1999-2000 runs from the 2009-2010 a difference map can be generated showing the areas that received more precipitation and areas that received less precipitation. Areas that received more precipitation in 2009-2010 over 1999-2000 are depicted in shades of green. Areas that received less precipitation between these two winters are depicted in shades of brown.

Visualization Credits

Alex Kekesi (GST): Lead Animator
Malissa Reyes (USRA): Producer
Ryan Fitzgibbons (USRA): Producer
Siegfried D. Schubert (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Yehui Chang (Morgan State University): Scientist
Michele Rienecker (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Short URL to share this page:

Data Used:
Attribution of the Extreme U.S. East Coast Snowstorm Activity of 2010/PRECTOT (mm./day) also referred to as: Total Precipitation (mm./day)
Model - NASA
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
DLESE >> Cryology
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation >> Precipitation Anomalies
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation >> Snow
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators >> Teleconnections >> El Nino Southern Oscillation
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version