676 Winter Storms and Associated Precipitation Causing Power Outages over the Province of New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Julien Chartrand, UQAM, Montréal, Canada; and J. M. Thériault

The Maritime Provinces of Canada are particularly impacted by winter storms associated with many types of precipitation. These storms tend to bring strong winds and heavy precipitation of various form, which can have significant impacts on many sectors of society as well as ecosystems. In collaboration with New Brunswick (NB) Power, meteorological events that led to significant power outages and damages to infrastructure have been identified. To better understand the links between meteorological conditions and power outages in the province of NB, high-resolution simulations using the Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model over the continental US (Liu et al., 2017) have been used to analyse those extreme events. In particular, the mesoscale processes influencing the intensity and types of precipitation during the storms were investigated. The preliminary results have shown that an enhancement of precipitation in coastal areas of NB frequently occurs when the wind direction is onshore, locally producing very high amounts of accumulated precipitations. They also shown that the presence of small-scale mountain ranges in central NB and on the southern coast can trigger considerable orographic enhancement of precipitation and local change in the surface precipitation type depending on the low-level wind field. The changes in the distribution, amounts and types of precipitation in a warmer climate is also investigated to better understand their changes in the future. Overall, this study contributes to a better understanding of meteorological factors leading to power outages to better anticipate the impact of climate change on those storms.
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