Looking to the Clouds to Predict Future Climate

Scientists at NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Prototype Climate Modeling (CPCM) have discovered the causes of the storms that brought high winds and flooding to the UAE in November.

An unusual "cyclone formed over the Mediterranean bringing destructive rain and flooding to the Italian island of Sardinia,"The National newspaper reported, analysis based on the NYUAD research. This was followed by an anticyclone that pushed cold air towards the Arabian Gulf. At the same time, there have been exceptionally heavy monsoons over India this year, leading to higher levels of moist, warm air over the Gulf."

Senior Scientist at the CPCM, Dr. Ajaya Ravindran, explained the weather event to The National this way: "In our recent work we have found that 2013 is marked by many global weather anomalies, such as unusual jet stream patterns, strong monsoons, heat waves, intense snowfall over US and Europe, and last week’s rains here in the UAE."

Expanding on this assessment, Ravindran and CPCM colleagues wrote in the Gulf News that his team at the CPCM created a number of "hindcasts" using data from weather centers like the National Centre for Environmental Prediction that show how the rain storms moved throughout the Gulf. Example of the hindcasts can be found on CPCM website.