Date of Award
Master of Science
Geography and Environmental Resources
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of horizontal moisture fluxes from Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) on extreme precipitation (EP) events in the continental United States (CONUS). Climatological results for both EP, objectively defined using a peaks-over-threshold and block maxima approach, and ARs were processed and analyzed for co-occurrence. EP analyses produced a positive linear trend in magnitude, determined through the block maxima approach, in the Central US and a positive linear trend in frequency, determined by the peaks-over-threshold approach, predominantly for the Northern half of the CONUS. AR results show over 70 AR days throughout the country, and a linear trend of 10 less days per decade in the Central US. Results of the co-occurrence analysis suggest an increasing trend of about one instance of co-occurrence per decade throughout much of the Eastern Coast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest, with a corresponding negative linear trend of about one instance of co-occurrence per decade for much of the Southwest US to Louisiana. Throughout the world, the study of EP, and the careful analysis of its behavior, and possible amplification sources such as ARs, at the national and regional scale is imperative to obtain a comprehensive understanding of hydrometeorological impacts.
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