Department of Environmental Sciences

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Seminar Abstracts
Environmental Sciences Seminar Abstract            

Tim Eichler
Saint Louis University

A topic which is gaining an increasing amount of attention from the climate community is the role that synoptic-scale storms play in the current and future climate. Given the impacts of extreme weather events on the general public coupled with a growing population on a global scale, it is important to assess the ability of climate models to simulate mid-latitude storm tracks. Improvements in resolution and physical parameterizations of climate models are resulting in an increased capability to simulate extratropical cyclones. To test the ability of NCEP's coupled forecast system (CFS) to produce storm tracks, we have utilized a storm track program to generate storm tracks from two long simulations (approximately 100 years) of the CFS model. We produce seasonal climatologies from the CFS model, and compare them to climatologies derived from NCEP reanalysis and ERA40 datasets. To assess interannual variability of storm tracks, we quantify the impacts of ENSO on the mean storm track in model and reanalysis data via a composite analysis. We also demonstrate the CFS model's ability to develop rapidly intensifying cyclones known as bombs. Included in this analysis is a case study of a bomb in the CFS model and the composite structure of bombs in the NCEP reanalysis data. Finally, we will show preliminary results of storm tracks from the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) suite of models to demonstrate overall model performance in current and future climate change scenarios.

Last updated: 02/10/2010