Monday, 11 January 2016: 11:30 AM
Room 238/239 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
The climate anomalies leading to the May 2015 floods in Texas and Oklahoma were analyzed in the context of El Niño teleconnection in a warmer climate. El Niño tends to increase late-spring precipitation in the southern Great Plains and this effect has intensified since 1980. There was a detectable effect of anthropogenic global warming in the physical processes that caused the persistent precipitation in May of 2015: Warming in the tropical Pacific acted to strengthen the teleconnection towards North America, modification of zonal wave-5 circulation that deepened the anomalous trough to the west of Texas, and an enhanced Great Plains low-level southerlies increasing moisture supply from the Gulf of Mexico. Attribution analysis using the CMIP5 single-forcing experiments and the CESM Large Ensemble Project indicated a significant increase in the El Niño- induced precipitation anomalies over Texas and Oklahoma when increases in the anthropogenic greenhouse gases were taken into account.
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