9.5 Using the Web-based Climate Perspectives Tool to Characterize Weather Extremes and Steaks of Unusual Weather

Wednesday, 28 June 2017: 11:30 AM
Mt. Mitchell/Mt. Roan (Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort)
Charles E. Konrad, The Southeast Regional Climate Center, Chapel Hill, NC; and J. T. McLeod and W. Schmitz

The NOAA Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) has developed a powerful web-based tool, Climate Perspectives (CLIMPER), that allows a user to readily identify how the recent weather and climate at a given weather station compares with prior years in the climatological record. CLIMPER ingests current and past weather data from the Regional Climate Center's Applied Climate Information System (ACIS) and provides a rich mix of climatological information over a range of time periods. These climate perspectives provide a synopsis of recent temperature and precipitation patterns in terms of how they depart from what is normally observed. The daily updated climatological information allows the user to readily assess the extremeness of an ongoing weather event or regime (e.g. exceptionally hot, cold, or wet conditions) over the prior days, weeks, or months by seeing how it compares with historical record during the same calendar period. The user can select from most weather stations in the Southeast region and from stations in larger cities across the continental United States. This presentation will focus on a tool within CLIMPER that identifies the frequencies in which a various temperature or precipitation thresholds were reached. These are identified across a range of periods spanning the last year and compared with the frequencies observed in prior years. For example, it will identify the number of days in which the temperature equaled or exceeded 90 F over the last month, season, and year and rank these frequencies relative to those observed in prior years. CLIMPER also identifies streaks in the occurrence of a given extreme, specifically the greatest number of consecutive days in which a given temperature or precipitation threshold was equaled or exceeded over the last month, season, and year. For example, it will determine the longest streak in which the temperature equaled or exceeded 90F, and how these streaks compare with streaks observed in prior years. This information provides a useful context or perspective for an unusual event that can be communicated to the public. The national version of CLIMPER can be accessed at: http://www.sercc.com/perspectivesmap?region=conus.
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