Both wintertime cold spells over North America and stormy conditions over Western Europe have caused significant social and economic damage in past winters. Some recent publications suggest that there might be a common large-scale atmospheric flow pattern conducive to the co-occurrence of both these classes of extremes. This project aims to further our understanding of this connection.

The student will begin by linking the cold spells over different regions of North America to circumglobal wave patterns, which are diagnosed in terms of Empirical Orthogonal Functions of meridional wind. The next step will be to investigate the statistical co-occurrence of these cold spells and stormy conditions over Europe, and identify the regions of the two continents showing the best teleconnectivity. The final part of the project will test whether the same wave patterns driving the cold spells over the different regional domains also favour the European storms.

This project is ideal for a student interested in atmospheric dynamics and statistical analysis, who wants to tackle a societally and economically relevant topic.