Project Team: Southwest U.S. Climate Team
Team Location: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina
Shani Kent Hall
Dr. DeWayne Cecil (NOAA, Global Science & Technology, Inc.)
Dr. Carl Schreck (NOAA, Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites)
Eleanor Davis (DEVELOP)
Anja Nothdurft (DEVELOP)
Ashley Mendenhall (DEVELOP)
In Arizona, California and Nevada, projected impacts of climate change, such as drier winters, less snowpack, and more frequent droughts, will likely have significant consequences for the environment, the economy, and the quality of life in the region. Increases in temperature and population will put additional strain on water resources. Well-planned water management strategies will be necessary to mitigate the effects. Droughts are aggravated by warming temperatures associated with global climate change that reduce spring snowpack and late spring and summer soil moisture. As a result of this reduced spring snowpack, surface water availability from reservoirs becomes scarce, with negative economic, ecologic and societal impacts. Due to the current drought conditions, wildfires are expected to last longer, encompass more land and involve more regions of the U.S.
This project aimed to aid water resource managers in better anticipating the number of anomalous precipitation days using atmospheric teleconnections. The team examined the influence of four atmospheric teleconnections: Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), El Ni̱o Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and Artic Oscillation (AO). Anomalous precipitation over the Southwest region will be identified using the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Data Record. The change in the probability of anomalous precipitation days associated with each atmospheric teleconnection was calculated throughout the study area, and statistically significant change in the probabilities was identified. Water resource managers will be able to better anticipate and prepare for future anomalous precipitation anomalies by monitoring the teleconnection indices and comparing them with the results of this study.