P2.15 Preferential Storm Pathways and Mountain Precipitation over the Intermountain West

Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Arches/Deer Valley (Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel)
Matthew E. Jeglum, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and W. J. Steenburgh

A complex set of factors affects storm evolution and precipitation patterns over the Intermountain West. Situated in the mid-latitudes east of the Sierra Nevada, the region's complex topography strongly affects both the migration of storm systems and the precipitation patterns they produce.

This study examines the relationship between storm track and precipitation over the Intermountain West. Storm pathways at 850, 700 and 500 mb are identified using the 6-hourly, 1.5 degree ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset. NRCS SNOTEL station precipitation data provide montane precipitation data over the Intermountain West. Primarily used for water-supply forecasting, SNOTEL stations provide daily precipitation measurements throughout the Western United States.

Precipitation patterns associated with different synoptic patterns such as open–wave troughs, closed lows, or Nevada Cyclones will be identified. In addition, precipitation climatologies for specific locations and ranges will be described.

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