Group seminar on 22. November, 14:15 CET
“Predicting the Unprecedented” – evaluating ECMWF’s forecasts of extreme heatwaves
Dr. Rebecca Emerton
In June 2021, an unprecedented extreme heatwave impacted the Pacific Northwest of North America, resulting in more than 1000 excess deaths and affecting infrastructure and wildlife. Predicting such extreme events is key for preparedness and early action, and beyond temperature, it is important to consider biometeorological forecasts, accounting for the effects of the environment on the human body. We evaluated the performance of ECMWF’s forecasts (considering both temperature and heat stress indices) during this heatwave, exploring the ability of the forecasting system to ‘predict the unprecedented’. We continue to investigate such extreme events, including the heat over western Europe in the summer of 2022, and this talk will present insights into the predictability of these heatwaves in ECMWF’s forecasts.