Event Title

Intra-annual Patterns of Precipitation and Temperature and Relations to Wet-Dry Cycles in Northern Utah

Presenter Information

Lawrence Hipps

Location

ECC 216

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-3-2012 2:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2012 2:50 PM

Description

Current approaches to dendroclimatology construct relationships between tree ring indices and annual total precipitation values. But plant growth is also sensitive to the seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation, which are masked out in annual statistics. Distinct wet and dry cycles of annual precipitation in northern Utah have already been reported by Wang et al., who quantified their connections to transitions of quasi-decadal oscillations in the Pacific Ocean. But an examination of patterns and periodicity of the seasonal distribution of precipitation and temperature for the region, is wanting. There are two incentives for such analyses. First, the existence of any coherent patterns in intra-annual precipitation and temperature, and their connection to larger scale features, would provide valuable knowledge about what governs the climate of the region. Second, such information may help the interpretation of the relationships between tree ring index values and climate. Here, the variation in the timing of precipitation during the year is examined, and coherent patterns and correlations are documented. In addition, the periodicity of particularly hot summers, wet winters and dry winters will be studied. These analyses will reveal any cyclical behavior, and its relationship with known cycles of annual values. Any temporal memory of the regional climate can be estimated. In other words, is a significant change in precipitation in one season related to the value or anomaly at some previous time period? Future work will involve studying the relationships between sub-annual precipitation and summer saturation deficit and tree ring index values. For example, is there a subset of values within the year, which better explains the observed wood growth in the trees? How do tree ring values respond to more extreme events? Is it still a linear response, as typically assumed? These and other questions are part of these activities.

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Apr 3rd, 2:30 PM Apr 3rd, 2:50 PM

Intra-annual Patterns of Precipitation and Temperature and Relations to Wet-Dry Cycles in Northern Utah

ECC 216

Current approaches to dendroclimatology construct relationships between tree ring indices and annual total precipitation values. But plant growth is also sensitive to the seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation, which are masked out in annual statistics. Distinct wet and dry cycles of annual precipitation in northern Utah have already been reported by Wang et al., who quantified their connections to transitions of quasi-decadal oscillations in the Pacific Ocean. But an examination of patterns and periodicity of the seasonal distribution of precipitation and temperature for the region, is wanting. There are two incentives for such analyses. First, the existence of any coherent patterns in intra-annual precipitation and temperature, and their connection to larger scale features, would provide valuable knowledge about what governs the climate of the region. Second, such information may help the interpretation of the relationships between tree ring index values and climate. Here, the variation in the timing of precipitation during the year is examined, and coherent patterns and correlations are documented. In addition, the periodicity of particularly hot summers, wet winters and dry winters will be studied. These analyses will reveal any cyclical behavior, and its relationship with known cycles of annual values. Any temporal memory of the regional climate can be estimated. In other words, is a significant change in precipitation in one season related to the value or anomaly at some previous time period? Future work will involve studying the relationships between sub-annual precipitation and summer saturation deficit and tree ring index values. For example, is there a subset of values within the year, which better explains the observed wood growth in the trees? How do tree ring values respond to more extreme events? Is it still a linear response, as typically assumed? These and other questions are part of these activities.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/AllAbstracts/25