Event Title

Declining precipitation in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu

Start Date

1-4-2014 11:00 AM

End Date

1-4-2014 11:20 AM

Description

Declining flows in Pacific Northwest streams have been noted by several authors, but the causality has been unclear, because precipitation data at COOP weather stations in the region have shown little to no change. Closer examination, however, reveals that COOP stations may not reflect precipitation in the mountains, implying that observed streamflow declines are likely driven by mountain precipitation declines. Decreases in winter westerlies across the region from 1950-2012 are hypothesized to have driven these declines, as winter (Nov-Mar) westerlies are strongly correlated to high elevation precipitation but weakly correlated with low elevation precipitation. Climate projections show weakened westerlies across the region under enhanced greenhouse forcing, highlighting an additional stressor relevant for climate change impacts on hydrology.

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Apr 1st, 11:00 AM Apr 1st, 11:20 AM

Declining precipitation in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest

Eccles Conference Center

Declining flows in Pacific Northwest streams have been noted by several authors, but the causality has been unclear, because precipitation data at COOP weather stations in the region have shown little to no change. Closer examination, however, reveals that COOP stations may not reflect precipitation in the mountains, implying that observed streamflow declines are likely driven by mountain precipitation declines. Decreases in winter westerlies across the region from 1950-2012 are hypothesized to have driven these declines, as winter (Nov-Mar) westerlies are strongly correlated to high elevation precipitation but weakly correlated with low elevation precipitation. Climate projections show weakened westerlies across the region under enhanced greenhouse forcing, highlighting an additional stressor relevant for climate change impacts on hydrology.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2014/2014Abstracts/23