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Wayne Higgins, Director, Climate Prediction Center

Patterns of extreme weather events such as the 1997/98 winter storms, the droughts in 1998 and 1999, active and inactive hurricane seasons, and warm and cold winters are not entirely random events. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) along with its academic and international partners are making great strides in linking some of these events to climate variability such as El Niño and La Niña, and other modes of natural climate varability. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), working with national and international partners, is at the forefront of turning this new understanding into practical tools and useful products for predicting such events and their impacts months to seasons in advance to reduce vulnerability and exploit opportunities for beneficial impacts.

Better predictions of extreme climate episodes like floods and droughts could save the United States billions of dollars in damage costs. Water, energy and transportation managers as well as farmers would be able to plan and avoid or mitigate these losses. For example, the CPC's seasonal climate forecast based on the 1997/98 El Nino saved Californians $500 million to $1 billion for they were able to take mitigation measures six months in advance of heavy rains.

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Page Author: Climate Prediction Center Internet Team
Page last modified: January 28, 2008
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