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Publication Date
1 August 2016

Warm Season Dry Spells in the Central and Eastern United States: Diverging Skill in Climate Model Representation



Warm season dry spells over the central and eastern United States are classified into three canonical types via a hierarchical cluster analysis for the period 1950–2005. Four CMIP5 models exhibit diverging skill in representing the observed behavior, ranging from southern Great Plains dry spells that are reasonably simulated by all four models to southeastern U.S. dry spells that are only accurately captured by one model. A model’s skill in representing a particular dry spell cluster is positively correlated with the model’s ability to simulate the large-scale meteorological patterns (LMPs) accompanying the dry spell. The interannual variability and overall observed decreasing trend in dry spell days are represented with varying degrees of accuracy by the four models. The results 1) highlight existing shortcomings in the climate model representation of regional dry spells and 2) illustrate the importance of properly simulating the observed spectrum of LMPs in minimizing these shortcomings.

“Warm Season Dry Spells In The Central And Eastern United States: Diverging Skill In Climate Model Representation”. 2016. Journal Of Climate 29: 5617-5624. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0321.1.
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