Study: Golf course weather patterns may be unpredictable

(CNN) – If you’re a golfer, you may want to take your clubs home on this week’s vacation.

The sport of swinging a club is not as reliably predictable at this time of year, according to an experts’ study published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Hydrology.

“Mother Nature has been producing some wilder patterns this year than we would typically expect,” the study’s lead author, Richard Mills, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a news release.

The study’s authors charted the interactions between weather conditions and changes in precipitation. For example, last winter may have followed a heat wave, while this one may have gone in the opposite direction.

Wetter weather after July, the analysis suggested, was the result of warmer temperatures.

But that is just one correlation in an interconnected web of weather patterns, said Mills, a meteorologist who also holds a PhD in meteorology. If there are shifts in the concentration of clouds, for example, that can lead to further warming.

Other research indicates that human activities are changing weather patterns, but even so, they remain in flux. What’s more certain is that golf courses will not be in one accord on this one.

“There may be patterns that last longer than before that are linked to climate change,” Mills said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see longer, drier weather patterns later this winter. That might help temper the rainfall conditions in golf courses in the summer.”

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