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Title: Impacts of Storm-Track Variations on Wintertime Extreme Weather Events over the Continental United States

Abstract

Extratropical cyclones are responsible for many of the high-impact weather events over the United States, including extreme cold, extreme high wind, and extreme heavy precipitation. In this study, impacts from the variations of the cyclone (or storm-track) activity on these extreme events are examined through composites based on map-averaged cyclone activity. Increased cyclone activity enhances the frequency of extreme cold and high wind events over much of the United States, and impacts extreme precipitation around the Ohio River valley. These impacts are largely due to a changing of the tail of the distribution rather than a shifting of the mean. To systematically study these impacts, three singular value decomposition (SVD) analyses have been conducted, each one between the cyclone activity and one kind of extreme event frequency. All three SVD leading modes represent a pattern of overall increase or decrease of storm tracks over the United States. The average of the time series of these leading modes is highly correlated with the observed map-averaged storm track and strongly associated with the Pacific–North America (PNA) pattern and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, composites based on either the PNA pattern or ENSO do not show as strong impacts as the map-averaged stormmore » track. A second common SVD mode is found that correlates weakly with the North Pacific mode and is likely to be largely due to internal variability. Finally, the potential impacts of projected storm-track change on the frequency of extreme events are examined, indicating that the projected storm-track decrease over North America may give rise to some reduction in the frequency of extreme events.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
State Univ. of New York (SUNY), Albany, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1358652
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1537021
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0014050
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8755
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Citation Formats

Ma, Chen-Geng, and Chang, Edmund K. M. Impacts of Storm-Track Variations on Wintertime Extreme Weather Events over the Continental United States. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-16-0560.1.
Ma, Chen-Geng, & Chang, Edmund K. M. Impacts of Storm-Track Variations on Wintertime Extreme Weather Events over the Continental United States. United States. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-16-0560.1.
Ma, Chen-Geng, and Chang, Edmund K. M. Thu . "Impacts of Storm-Track Variations on Wintertime Extreme Weather Events over the Continental United States". United States. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-16-0560.1.
@article{osti_1358652,
title = {Impacts of Storm-Track Variations on Wintertime Extreme Weather Events over the Continental United States},
author = {Ma, Chen-Geng and Chang, Edmund K. M.},
abstractNote = {Extratropical cyclones are responsible for many of the high-impact weather events over the United States, including extreme cold, extreme high wind, and extreme heavy precipitation. In this study, impacts from the variations of the cyclone (or storm-track) activity on these extreme events are examined through composites based on map-averaged cyclone activity. Increased cyclone activity enhances the frequency of extreme cold and high wind events over much of the United States, and impacts extreme precipitation around the Ohio River valley. These impacts are largely due to a changing of the tail of the distribution rather than a shifting of the mean. To systematically study these impacts, three singular value decomposition (SVD) analyses have been conducted, each one between the cyclone activity and one kind of extreme event frequency. All three SVD leading modes represent a pattern of overall increase or decrease of storm tracks over the United States. The average of the time series of these leading modes is highly correlated with the observed map-averaged storm track and strongly associated with the Pacific–North America (PNA) pattern and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, composites based on either the PNA pattern or ENSO do not show as strong impacts as the map-averaged storm track. A second common SVD mode is found that correlates weakly with the North Pacific mode and is likely to be largely due to internal variability. Finally, the potential impacts of projected storm-track change on the frequency of extreme events are examined, indicating that the projected storm-track decrease over North America may give rise to some reduction in the frequency of extreme events.},
doi = {10.1175/jcli-d-16-0560.1},
journal = {Journal of Climate},
number = 12,
volume = 30,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-16-0560.1

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