GALE improves snow forecasting


  • Anonymous


Scientific results from an intensive study of winter storms on the U.S. East Coast last year contributed to improved weather forecasts of two successive snowstorms that virtually closed down Washington, D.C., for several days in January 1987.

In the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment (GALE) field project, scientists took detailed measurements simultaneously from the atmosphere and the ocean to study how these features interact at various stages of an East Coast winter storm, according to project director Richard Dirks, who is with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. “It's interesting that we actually had four storms [in the GALE study] that were of similar intensity to the two East Coast storms” in January 1987, Dirks said. “However, last year the temperatures were warmer, and the storm tracks were located somewhat further offshore and therefore did not significantly affect the northeast corridor with heavy snows.”