Examination of Future Severe Convective Storms in the United States through High-Resolution Dynamical Downscaling

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Kimberly Hoogewind, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; and M. E. Baldwin and R. J. Trapp

Global climate model (GCM) projections increasingly suggest that large-scale environmental conditions favorable for severe thunderstorms may increase in frequency in the future due to anthropogenic climate change. However, this storm-environment-based approach is undoubtedly limited by the assumption that convective-scale phenomena will be realized within these environments. The resolution of GCMs remains much too coarse to adequately represent the scales at which severe convective storms occur, including processes that may lead to storm initiation. With the advancement of computing resources, though, it has now become feasible to explicitly represent deep convective storms within a high-resolution regional climate model. In this research, WRF is used to produce high-resolution, dynamically downscaled simulations for the continental U.S. under historical and future climate periods using CMIP5 GCM data. Model proxies will be used to provide an objective estimate of the occurrence of simulated severe weather hazards such as large hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes, and results will assess how their spatiotemporal distribution may change in the future.