Candice King, meteorologist with the WTVO Morning News Team in Rockford, Ill., presents an educational seminar at the Northern Illinois Farm Show.
DEKALB, Ill. - Extreme weather events had a significant impact during 2012.
"There were 11 $1 billion disasters last year," reported Candice King, meteorologist with the WTVO Morning News Team in Rockford.
"It started in March with tornadoes, then there was the extreme heat and wildfires in the West during the summer and fall, Hurricane Isaac, Superstorm Sandy and also the drought," recalled King
during an educational seminar at the Northern Illinois Farm Show.
"And we're still continuing with the drought and heat - December was 8 degrees above average."
During 2012, King
said, thousands of records for high temperatures were broken across the U.S.
"Weather often repeats itself.
It takes a while to break the cycle and pattern," she
"There are tons of forecast models we look at every day to put a forecast together," King
For the surface analysis, King
looks to see where the high and low pressure systems are located and where the cold and warm fronts are positioned and at the atmosphere thickness lines.
At 3,000 feet, she
also looks for the high and low pressure systems and the cold and warm fronts.
"The temperatures are critical in determining where we have warm air advection, which helps to determine the temperatures at the surface," she
"For the 18,000-feet level, low pressure systems in the summertime can enhance a severe weather front and in the wintertime can enhance snowfall," the meteorologist said.
This level is critical for temperatures in the summertime, King
"Because if the temperature inside the low pressure system is really cold, that enhances the instability in the atmosphere and we can get hail or cold air funnels," she
The Artic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation are two models used by forecasters.
"The oscillations are differences in pressure in the mid latitudes of the atmosphere, and as those change and shift, that affects our weather," King
"If sea surface temperatures are going up over a three- to four-month period, it's an El Niño event," King
"And if sea temperatures are going down for a three- to four-month period it's a La Niña pattern."
"We were transitioning this past spring, summer and fall out of a La Niña pattern to a more El Niño pattern, where the sea surface temperatures were beginning to warm," she
According to the Climate Prediction Center
said, for the remainder of the winter and going into spring, there is no indication that the water near the equator will warm or cool down.
"So we'll stay in the neutral phase," she