Multi-year climate variability in the Southwestern United States within a context of a dynamically downscaled twentieth century reanalysis

Carlos M. Carrillo, Christopher Castro, Hsin I. Chang, Thang M. Luong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This investigation evaluates whether there is coherency in warm and cool season precipitation at the low-frequency scale that may be responsible for multi-year droughts in the US Southwest. This low-frequency climate variability at the decadal scale and longer is studied within the context of a twentieth-century reanalysis (20CR) and its dynamically-downscaled version (DD-20CR). A spectral domain matrix methods technique (Multiple-Taper-Method Singular Value Decomposition) is applied to these datasets to identify statistically significant spatiotemporal precipitation patterns for the cool (November–April) and warm (July–August) seasons. The low-frequency variability in the 20CR is evaluated by exploring global to continental-scale spatiotemporal variability in moisture flux convergence (MFC) to the occurrence of multiyear droughts and pluvials in Central America, as this region has a demonstrated anti-phase relationship in low-frequency climate variability with northern Mexico and the southwestern US By using the MFC in lieu of precipitation, this study reveals that the 20CR is able to resolve well the low-frequency, multiyear climate variability. In the context of the DD-20CR, multiyear droughts and pluvials in the southwestern US (in the early twentieth century) are significantly related to this low-frequency climate variability. The precipitation anomalies at these low-frequency timescales are in phase between the cool and warm seasons, consistent with the concept of dual-season drought as has been suggested in tree ring studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalClimate Dynamics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 21 2017

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twentieth century
drought
moisture flux
climate
tree ring
decomposition
timescale
anomaly
matrix
method

Keywords

  • Droughts
  • Dual-season drought
  • Dynamically-downscaled twenty century reanalysis
  • Low-frequency variability
  • MTM-SVD
  • Multi-year drought
  • Twenty century reanalysis
  • WRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Multi-year climate variability in the Southwestern United States within a context of a dynamically downscaled twentieth century reanalysis. / Carrillo, Carlos M.; Castro, Christopher; Chang, Hsin I.; Luong, Thang M.

In: Climate Dynamics, 21.03.2017, p. 1-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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