Frequency, duration and synoptic setting of late summer heat waves in Georgia

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Myron Thomas Petro, University Of Georgia, Athens, GA; and J. A. Knox

Heat waves are one of the most deadly atmospheric phenomena in the United States. The south-eastern United States in particular has shown a tendency for heat waves to occur in the later summer months between August and September. Our study focuses on establishing a climatology for the occurrence of Heat Waves within the state of Georgia. Six sites were chosen based on spatial distribution across the state as well as completeness of their data record from 1949 to June 2009. The criteria established by Meehl and Tebaldi 2004 is used to quantify heat wave frequency and duration for the climate record in question. After finding periods that satisfy the Meehl and Tebaldi criteria, the NCEP Reanalysis data set is used to observe the upper-air patterns and give an overall view of the characteristics of a late summer heat wave within the state of Georgia.