Climate and Hazardous Convective Weather

Michael K. Tippett, John T. Allen, Vittorio A. Gensini, Harold E. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Substantial progress has been made recently relating the large-scale climate system and hazardous convective weather (HCW; tornadoes, hail, and damaging wind), particularly over the USA where there are large societal impacts and a long observational record. Despite observational data limitations, HCW has shown to be influenced by the climate system and the tropical atmosphere via the Madden-Julian Oscillation and El Niño-Southern Oscillation. Analysis of the atmospheric environments favorable to HCW (e.g., convective available potential energy and vertical wind shear) avoids observational and model limitations. While few robust trends are seen over recent decades, future climate projections indicate increased frequency of such environments over the USA, Europe, and Australia, suggesting increased future HCW activity. A recent increase in the year-to-year variability of US tornado occurrence is striking, but not yet understood. Dynamical downscaling to convection-permitting resolutions promises improved understanding of the relationships between large-scale climate and HCW occurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-73
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Climate Change Reports
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Climate variability
  • Hail
  • Severe thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes

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