Effects of tropical cyclone damage on the climate of the U.S. Gulf Coast

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Laura E. Becker, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Massive vegetation loss often occurs as a result of tropical cyclone landfall. The effects of hurricane-induced forest damage on local and regional climate are examined in this study. Maps of land cover change from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 from NOAA Coastal Services Center are used with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) in conjunction with the Noah land surface model to simulate the effects of forest damage on the climate of the U.S. gulf coast region. The effects of the change in the vegetation from Hurricane Katrina are found by comparing the WRF output using scenarios for periods in January (winter) and July (summer) with land cover representative of conditions before and after Katrina. Results show the impact of the vegetation change on the surface energy budget as well as sea breeze formation and the regional precipitation distribution. !--Abstract 163016 modified by on 8-7-2009-->