Dec 4, 2013

Observed trends in the Great Plains low‐level jet and associated precipitation changes in relation to recent droughts

Daniel Barandiaran, Shih‐Yu Wang, Kyle Hilburn
Geophysical Research Letters
  • Analyzes trends in the Great Plains low‐level jet (GPLLJ) during the months April–June and associated precipitation for the period 1979–2012
  • Linear trends computed for meridional winds and precipitation intensity, frequency, and total across the Great Plains show that (1) the GPLLJ has strengthened and expanded northward and (2) precipitation has decreased substantially in the Southern Plains while increasing in the Northern Plains
  • Finds that, particularly in May, the rainy season in the Oklahoma‐Texas region, precipitation has migrated northward in correspondence to the shifted northern edge of the GPLLJ, leading to near 50% declines in precipitation since 1979
  • Discusses these observed changes in the context of recent droughts and projected climate for the region