Climate Change Impacts on Storm Track Precipitation in the CMIP5

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 11:00 AM
Room C101 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Natalie Gaggini, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO; and T. P. Eichler

The role of synoptic scale storms in the current and future climate continues to be an area of interest for the climate community. With an increase in global population coupled with the devastation that can result from extreme weather events, it is important to understand how the precipitation patterns of synoptic-scale storm tracks may be altered due to climate change. To accomplish this, we use a software package that generates storm tracks by determining sea-level pressure minimum. The storm track program is then applied to data from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). We compare storm track precipitation from the historical run with the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios to detect changes in synoptic-scale storm precipitation due to global warming. There is a large amount of variability between model runs and the model experiments in the Northern Hemisphere active storm track regions. The five-member model ensemble depicts an increase in precipitation along the North American east coast and Aleutians with a decrease of precipitation in the North Pacific (south of Japan) and off the eastern coast of Greenland. The trend for storm precipitation in the RCP scenarios is to increase near the Aleutians and decrease near the Icelandic low, while in the active storm track regions there is less agreement amongst the two scenarios.