Recently, a colleague explained that the recent cold spell in the eastern United States could have been predicted using the Bering Sea Rule. The idea is that 17-21 days after a storm appears in the Bering Sea, a storm will appear in the United States.

  • Is this rule reliable?
  • What is the explanation for it?
  • What is the skill of a forecast using the Bering Sea Rule?

Here is a news report that mentions it for the recent weather pattern.


2 Answers 2


There are two papers produced by the NOAA's National Weather Service investigating the claims regarding the Bering Sea Rule (BSR) and the Typhoon Rules for long range forecasts. Some insite for your immediate questions:

  • Although not giving a percent reliability of the BSR, the second study does say that the BSR has forecast skill above climatology for long range forecasting - see Discussion, Summary and Conclusions section of study II.
  • From paper I:

    The Bering Sea (BSR) and Typhoon (TR) rules are two observations used by weather forecasters. The former was introduced in 2011, while the latter has been used since at least the 1940s and are based on the idea of teleconnectivity within the Pacific Ocean region which was defined statistically by Wallace and Gutzler (1981). For example, the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern will be associated with alternating trough-ridge patterns from the Central Pacific to the East Coast of the US. A ridge-trough pattern from west to east over the US is a positive PNA configuration, while the opposite pattern is negative. Teleconnection is thought to be the result of downstream propagation of Rossby Wave activity in the North and South Pacific basins (e.g., Renwick and Revell, 1999; Wang et al. 2011, and references therein). The Bering Sea region is close to one teleconnective centers in the PNA pattern, which should make these rules useful indicators of weather downstream.

  • Refer to the Case Studies in study II.

Source (Study I): http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ost/climate/STIP/39CDPW/39cdpw-JRenken.pdf

Source (Study II): http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ost/climate/STIP/40CDPW/40cdpw-JRenken.pdf

  • $\begingroup$ Good amount of background information for an answer, but it appears to fail in answering any of the 3 questions asked. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Dec 19, 2017 at 3:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mast ? He explained that while there were no published values, it does have skill... so it's not extremely reliable perhaps, but moreso than nothing (answers q 1/3). It was a bit complex, but I believe the quote from the paper does explain how it leads to rossby wave teleconnections (answers q 2... could perhaps use a "laymans" summary...though indeed aretxabeleta is a scientist in a related field, so may not be as necessary as in some others). So while I'm always up for answer improvement, I think Kurt did reasonable in answering the question? $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2017 at 6:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JeopardyTempest When you put it like that, I guess you're right. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Dec 19, 2017 at 11:36

We actually expanded those two papers into a peer review paper located here.


In it you can find our success of finding 2sd situations 70% of the time. Also, might I suggest looking at a website that has quite a few options like 500mb/surface map overlays along with verification situations.


Joseph Renken Lead Author Twitter: @kopnfmradiowx

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks so much for answering. Nothing better than the source! $\endgroup$
    – arkaia
    Jan 5, 2018 at 23:06

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