S192 Atmospheric Drivers Associated with Rapid Ablation Events in the Chesapeake Basin, 1980-2009

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Julia L. Arthur, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; and G. R. Henderson, D. J. Leathers, D. A. Robinson, and T. Mote

Extreme snow ablation can greatly impact the hydroclimatology of a region; affecting streamflow, soil moisture, and groundwater supplies. Little is known, however, about the climatology of such large ablation events throughout the U.S., in addition to both the global and synoptic scale forcing mechanisms behind such events. This study seeks to fill that gap by continuing to explore such extreme ablation events occurring in the Chesapeake watershed.

Previously, events ranked by either Susquehanna River discharge or Susquehanna Basin ablation were compared to atmospheric conditions via a synoptic typing index, with the goal of identifying forcing mechanisms associated with the rapid ablation. Having identified the three most frequent synoptic types present during rapid ablation events or discharge maximums in the 1o x 1o gridded snow depth data, MERRA-2 reanalysis data was used to gain a higher resolution picture of the same region. The overlap of findings from each data set reinforce the larger conclusions drawn from the atmospheric drivers leading to such extreme ablation events, as well as how such events affect the hydroclimatology of a region. This knowledge will increase our ability to efficiently and effectively adapt to complex environments under future climate change.

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