2B.1 An investigation of slow-moving East Coast Winter Storms during the past 55 years

Monday, 24 January 2011: 1:30 PM
609 (Washington State Convention Center)
Jase E. Bernhardt, Northeast Regional Climate Center, Ithaca, NY

Utilizing a dataset of storms spanning 1951 to 2006, and an automated program, the speed of East Coast Winter Storms was determined. The program read in six-hourly storm location data, at a resolution of 2.5 degrees. Slower storms and seasons, established by a zero speed criterion of no change in grid point during at least one six-hour period, were looked at in most detail. Slow moving storms can have extreme impacts on the East Coast as their effects extend over multiple tidal cycles, leading to coastal flooding and erosion. Long periods of heavy precipitation and flooding are also a concern. Governing factors for these types of storms, such as the El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation, upper air pattern, and North Atlantic Oscillation, are discussed and analyzed. The ENSO cycle shows a considerable correlation with slow-moving storms, as more of these storms are present during strong El Niño seasons, and fewer during strong La Niña periods.
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