Thermodynamic Changes Associated with Climate Change Applied to the 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Sunday, 4 January 2015
Colleen E. McHugh, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; and S. G. Decker

There is very little doubt that climate change will affect future weather patterns and storms to some extent. This project takes a major blizzard that affected much of the northeast and project how it would have behaved had it happened at the end of the century. This project is based off the methods of Mallard et al. (2013). In that study, Mallard et al. observed two different Atlantic hurricane seasons, one active season (2005) and one inactive season (2009). The authors used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to simulate both seasons, and changed the boundary conditions of temperature and moisture based off of climate ensembles from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The study then concluded with observations of how these changes would affect tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Ocean. In the case of the 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard, the WRF is used to analyze both the control and experimental model run, with 18 km grid spacing on an outer domain and 6km on the inner nest. The control run of the WRF is as close to the actual storm as possible to get more accurate results for the experimental run. The experimental run uses the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to replace initial thermodynamic conditions with conditions predicted at the end of the century. The WRF is then run again using the same grid spacing and then compared to the control run. The goals for this project are to see what aspects of the storm would have changed had it happened at the end of the century. Snow cover, the rain-snow line location, storm track and pressure differences are evaluated.