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Projected Changes of Extreme Weather Events in the Eastern United States

This study is the first evaluation of dynamical downscaling using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model on a 4 km 4 km high resolution scale in the eastern US driven by the new Community Earth System Model version 1.0 (CESM v1.0). First we examined the global and regional climate model results, and corrected an inconsistency in skin temperature during the downscaling process by modifying the land/sea mask. In comparison with observations, WRF shows statistically significant improvement over CESM in reproducing extreme weather events, with improvement for heat wave frequency estimation as high as 98%. The fossil fuel intensive scenario Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 was used to study a possible future mid-century climate extreme in 2057–9. Both the heat waves and the extreme precipitation in 2057–9 are more severe than the present climate in the Eastern US. The Northeastern US shows large increases in both heat wave intensity (3.05 C higher) and annual extreme precipitation (107.3 mm more per year).

Publication Date: 2012

Modification Date: Tue Sep 9 09:55:29 2014

Contributors: Y Gao, J S Fu, J B Drake, Y Liu and J-F Lamarque

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