Coastal Inundation in the Chesapeake Bay produced by Extratropical Systems: Current and Future

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 1:45 PM
Room C209 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Melissa S. Bukovsky, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and R. McCrary and L. O. Mearns

Coastal flooding that impacts infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay area is most often produced by extratropical weather systems. While tropical systems often seem to garner most of the attention, they are not responsible for most of the flooding events in this area. In this study, we will look at the extratropical system types that have caused coastal inundation in the past and potential changes in these types of systems in the future. We will start by identifying the dominant weather patterns that lead to flooding in this region, and then examine changes in the characteristics of those weather patterns in regional climate model (RCM) simulations for the mid-21st century. This is being done in an effort to understand how the frequency and intensity of flooding due to these systems alone may change, noting that changes in sea-level have already increased instances of inundation and will continue to in the future. Projections will be assembled from the RCM simulations produced as a part of the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP). The NARCCAP ensemble is made up of simulations from six different RCMs driven by four different global climate models as well as two atmosphere-only global timeslice simulations for historical and future climate using the 20c3m and A2 SRES scenarios.