LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) – A new study says heat waves can be predicted more than two weeks in advance instead of the standard 10-day weather forecasts used now.
Lead researcher Haiyan Teng, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, along with his team, used a computer simulation of 12,000 years of atmospheric conditions that included 6,000 heat waves, They discovered that an alternating sequence of five high and low pressure systems happened before heat waves occurred.
Heat waves are created by that pattern which forms a ring of weather systems that move gradually across the Northern Hemisphere’s mid-latitudes and stop rainfall causing a heat wave to occur.
The researchers say that heat waves tend to be preceded by 15-20 days after that weather pattern has formed and it’s not necessarily linked to tropical heating.
“It gives you a little bit of a heads up of what’s coming,” researcher Gerald Meehl told CBS News.
Researchers did warn that this specific model can not be sued to predict specific temperatures.
On the plus side, their findings can help assist emergency personnel with providing more time to prepare for heat extreme weather events.
The study is published in Nature Geoscience.