A Diagnosis of the 1979–2005 Extreme Rainfall Events in the Southeastern United States with Isentropic Moisture Tracing

Chan, Steven C.; Misra, Vasubandhu
April 2010
Monthly Weather Review;Apr2010, Vol. 138 Issue 4, p1172
Academic Journal
A detailed analysis is performed to better understand the interannual and subseasonal variability of moisture sources of major recent dry (1980, 1990, and 2000) and wet (1994, 2003, and 2005) June–August (JJA) seasons in the southeastern United States. Wet (dry) JJAs show an increased (decreased) standard deviation of daily precipitation. Whereas most days during dry JJAs have little or no precipitation, wet JJAs contain more days with significant precipitation and a large increase of heavy (+10 mm) precipitation days. At least two tropical cyclone/depression landfalls occur in the southeastern United States during wet JJAs, whereas none occur during dry JJAs. The trajectory analysis suggests significant local recycling of moisture, implying that land surface feedback has the potential to enhance (suppress) precipitation anomalies during a wet (dry) JJA. Remote moisture sources during heavy precipitation events are very similar between wet and dry JJAs. The distinction between wet and dry JJAs lies in the frequency of heavy precipitation events. During the wet JJAs, heavy precipitation events contribute to more than half of the JJA precipitation total.


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