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Open AccessArticle

Warm Season Hydroclimatic Variability and Change in the Appalachian Region of the Southeastern U.S. from 1950 to 2018

Department of Geography and Planning, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28607, USA
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Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10050289
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
The hydroclimatology of the southeastern U.S. is changing, with increased precipitation, intensified summer-to-fall rainfall, and prolonged dry periods. However, research has yet to determine whether these trends are present in the southern Appalachian Mountains, which contain the most topographic and hydroclimatic variability across the region and serve as a valuable resource for growing population centers. This study examines warm season hydroclimatic variability and changes from 1950 to 2018 using the Global Historical Climatological Network (GHCN) daily data record. Daily rainfall is classified according to different intensities, ranging from light to heavy, and a Mann-Kendall test is used to determine the trend at each station. Additionally, a Spearman’s rank correlation test is performed to test for significant linkages between precipitation class frequencies and large-scale modes of atmospheric variability (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, Caribbean SST Index, Pacific/North American Pattern). The results suggest that dry days became less common and light precipitation became more common across the southern Appalachian region. Similarly, the length of dry spells became shorter at most elevations. Teleconnection patterns are linked to the variability of precipitation class frequencies, particularly with dry days and light precipitation. In conclusion, this research reveals the unique character of hydroclimatic variability and change across the southern Appalachian region in the context of the broader southeastern U.S. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroclimate; precipitation variability; southern Appalachian Mountains; southeastern United States; climate change hydroclimate; precipitation variability; southern Appalachian Mountains; southeastern United States; climate change
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Kinlaw, T.; Sugg, J.W.; Perry, L.B. Warm Season Hydroclimatic Variability and Change in the Appalachian Region of the Southeastern U.S. from 1950 to 2018. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 289.

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