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Title: More frequent intense and long-lived storms dominate the springtime trend in central US rainfall

Here, the changes in extreme rainfall associated with a warming climate have drawn significant attention in recent years. Mounting evidence shows that sub-daily convective rainfall extremes are increasing faster than the rate of change in the atmospheric precipitable water capacity with a warming climate. However, the response of extreme precipitation depends on the type of storm supported by the meteorological environment. Here using long-term satellite, surface radar and rain-gauge network data and atmospheric reanalyses, we show that the observed increases in springtime total and extreme rainfall in 36 the central U.S. are dominated by mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), the largest type of convective storm, with increased frequency and intensity of long-lasting MCSs. A strengthening of the southerly low-level jet and its associated moisture transport in the Central/Northern Great Plains, in the overall climatology and particularly on days with long-lasting MCSs, accounts for the changes in the precipitation produced by these storms.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-122022
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723; KP1703010
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; atmospheric science; attribution; hydrology
OSTI Identifier:
1339826

Feng, Zhe, Leung, L. Ruby, Hagos, Samson M., Houze, Robert A., Burleyson, Casey D., and Balaguru, Karthik. More frequent intense and long-lived storms dominate the springtime trend in central US rainfall. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms13429.
Feng, Zhe, Leung, L. Ruby, Hagos, Samson M., Houze, Robert A., Burleyson, Casey D., & Balaguru, Karthik. More frequent intense and long-lived storms dominate the springtime trend in central US rainfall. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms13429.
Feng, Zhe, Leung, L. Ruby, Hagos, Samson M., Houze, Robert A., Burleyson, Casey D., and Balaguru, Karthik. 2016. "More frequent intense and long-lived storms dominate the springtime trend in central US rainfall". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms13429. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1339826.
@article{osti_1339826,
title = {More frequent intense and long-lived storms dominate the springtime trend in central US rainfall},
author = {Feng, Zhe and Leung, L. Ruby and Hagos, Samson M. and Houze, Robert A. and Burleyson, Casey D. and Balaguru, Karthik},
abstractNote = {Here, the changes in extreme rainfall associated with a warming climate have drawn significant attention in recent years. Mounting evidence shows that sub-daily convective rainfall extremes are increasing faster than the rate of change in the atmospheric precipitable water capacity with a warming climate. However, the response of extreme precipitation depends on the type of storm supported by the meteorological environment. Here using long-term satellite, surface radar and rain-gauge network data and atmospheric reanalyses, we show that the observed increases in springtime total and extreme rainfall in 36 the central U.S. are dominated by mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), the largest type of convective storm, with increased frequency and intensity of long-lasting MCSs. A strengthening of the southerly low-level jet and its associated moisture transport in the Central/Northern Great Plains, in the overall climatology and particularly on days with long-lasting MCSs, accounts for the changes in the precipitation produced by these storms.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms13429},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {11}
}