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Western United States wintertime precipitation response to warming: an assessment in a global storm-resolving model
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  • Tsung-Lin Hsieh,
  • Lucas Harris,
  • Kai-Yuan Cheng,
  • Linjiong Zhou,
  • Liwei Jia,
  • Ming Zhao
Tsung-Lin Hsieh
Princeton University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Lucas Harris
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Kai-Yuan Cheng
Princeton University
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Linjiong Zhou
Cooperative Institute for Modeling Earth Systems, and Program on Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University
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Liwei Jia
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Ming Zhao
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Years-long global storm-resolving simulations of the present and warmed climates are conducted with 3.25km horizontal grid spacing. We focus on wintertime precipitation in the coastal western United States, a notably water-sensitive region with complex topography. The model generates more realistic orographic precipitation compared with a coarser-resolution model having the same dynamical core. In response to uniform sea surface warming, the increase in extreme precipitation rates together with the better resolved orographic precipitation lead to persistence of snowpack in parts of the coastal western United States. In contrast, snowpack in the coarser-resolution model is largely eliminated in the warmed climate. Whether snowpack persists influences the regional surface energy budget due to the snow-albedo feedback. The results highlight the importance of resolving orographic precipitation and the large-scale circulation response to warming in a consistent framework.
06 May 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
10 May 2024Published in ESS Open Archive