Shields, Christine A., Kiehl, Jeffrey T.

Geophysical Research Letters

Published date August 25, 2016

Atmospheric river landfall-latitude changes in future climate simulations

  • Examines the latitude of landfall for atmospheric rivers (ARs) in the fully coupled half-degree version of the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) for warm future climate simulations
  • Looks at two regions: U.S. West Coast/North Pacific ARs and United Kingdom/North Atlantic ARs
  • States that changes in AR landfall-latitude reflect changes in the atmospheric steering flow
  • Projections show that West Coast U.S. ARs are projected to push equatorward in response to the subtropical jet climate change
  • Projections show that UK AR response is dominated by eddy-driven jets and is seasonally dependent
  • Finds that precipitation associated with ARs is also projected to increase in intensity under global warming
  • CCSM4 projects a marked shift to higher rainfall rates for Southern California, while small to modest rainfall rates may increase for all UK latitudes, for the Pacific Northwest, and central and northern California