Next Article in Journal
Climate Shocks and Responses in Karnali-Mahakali Basins, Western Nepal
Previous Article in Journal
Mitigating Climate Change in the Cultural Built Heritage Sector
Open AccessArticle

Observed Mesoscale Hydroclimate Variability of North America’s Allegheny Mountains at 40.2° N

1,* and 1,2,*
1
Institute of Water Security and Science, West Virginia University, Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
2
Davis College, Schools of Agriculture and Food, and Natural Resources, West Virginia University, 3109 Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2019, 7(7), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7070091
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 6 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Climate Change)
  |  
PDF [5820 KB, uploaded 18 July 2019]
  |  

Abstract

Spatial hydroclimatic variability of Eastern North America’s Allegheny Mountain System (AMS) is commonly oversimplified to elevation differences and the rain-shadow effect. Descriptive and higher order statistical properties of hourly meteorological observations (1948–2017) from seven airports were analyzed to better understand AMS climatic complexity. Airports were located along a longitudinal transect (40.2 °N) and observation infrastructure was positioned to minimize climatic gradients associated with insolation, slope, and aspect. Results indicated average ambient temperature was well correlated with airport elevation (R2 = 0.97). However, elevation was relatively poorly correlated to dew point temperature (R2 = 0.80) and vapor pressure deficit (R2 = 0.61) heterogeneity. Skewness and kurtosis of ambient and dew point temperatures were negative at all airports indicating hourly values below the median were more common and extreme values were less common than a normal distribution implies. Westerly winds accounted for 54.5% of observations indicating prevailing winds misrepresented nearly half of AMS weather phenomena. The sum of maximum hourly precipitation rates was maximized in Philadelphia, PA implying a convective precipitation maximum near the border of Piedmont and Coastal Plain provinces. Results further indicate the AMS represents a barrier to omnidirectional moisture advection suggesting physiographic provinces are characterized by distinct evapotranspiration and precipitation regimes. The current work draws attention to observed mesoscale hydroclimatic heterogeneity of the AMS region and identifies mechanisms influencing local to regional water quantity and quality issues that are relevant to many locations globally. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; allegheny mountains; appalachia; land-atmosphere coupling; mesoscale climatology; physical geography; rain-shadow; water resources climate change; allegheny mountains; appalachia; land-atmosphere coupling; mesoscale climatology; physical geography; rain-shadow; water resources
Figures

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kutta, E.; Hubbart, J. Observed Mesoscale Hydroclimate Variability of North America’s Allegheny Mountains at 40.2° N. Climate 2019, 7, 91.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Climate EISSN 2225-1154 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top