The results mainly agreed with our hypothesis. For all 50 years, each station showed some positive correlations from winter to spring, but the correlations were rarely greater than 0.25. On the scale from 0 to 1, this is not very high. The correlations for the ENSO years were generally greater, and all stations showed an increase in air temperature and precipitation correlations from all years to the strongest ENSO years. However, the wind speed and relative humidity correlations seemed very random. This may be because of local effects, such as terrain in the mountains.
We predicted that the Coastal Plain and the Outer Banks would correlate more and that was proved to be correct. For ENSO years, the Outer Banks' average correlation between air temperature and precipitation (0.56 was the greatest of any region, and the Coastal Plain had the third-greatest average correlation (0.37).
Concerning our prediction of precipitation having the best winter-to-spring correlation, this was true for all years but temperature was better correlated during ENSO years. From this, we predict that ENSO affects our temperature more than our precipitation. This has been true this winter, which has had strong El Niño and it has been much colder than normal.
Knowing the possible correlations of temperature and precipitation is important for the agriculture industry in North Carolina since it is dependent on how dry or cold it is in the spring.
|Hypothesis||Method||Background on ENSO|