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Diverse Impacts of Global Warming on Derechos in the United States

Presentation Date
Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 2:30pm - Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 2:45pm
The Baltimore Convention Center - Ballroom III/ IV



Derechos produce widespread straight-line damaging winds that threaten human lives and property. Understanding the impact of global warming on derechos is beneficial for infrastructure and emergency response planning. This study selects 11 derecho events between 2015 and 2022 in the contiguous United States and uses the pseudo-global warming method to investigate the potential impacts of future warming on the derechos. We use the Simple Cloud-Resolving E3SM Atmosphere Model (SCREAM) with regional refinement at 3.25 km horizontal grid spacing to simulate the derechos under observed environmental conditions (CTRL) and in the future (PGW) by the end of the 21st century following SSP5-8.5. SCREAM well reproduces the observed evolution characteristics of the selected derechos and roughly captures their associated extreme winds. Comparisons between the PGW and CTRL simulations show diverse impacts of global warming on these derecho events. From the perspective of rain rate, wind speed, spatial coverage, and system lifetime, about half of the 11 derechos change minimally under global warming, while the others become stronger or weaker. An example of the latter is the 2018 mid-Atlantic derecho, which occurred on May 14, 2018. The derecho is degraded to an ordinary convective system without apparent bow echoes in the future. Analyses are being conducted to understand the mechanisms of the diverse responses of the derechos to global warming.

Funding Program Area(s)
Additional Resources:
NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center)