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Changes in Frequency and Location of East Coast Low Pressure Systems Affecting Southeast Australia

School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
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Climate 2021, 9(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030044
Received: 12 February 2021 / Revised: 1 March 2021 / Accepted: 2 March 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather Events)
Low pressure systems off the southeast coast of Australia can generate intense rainfall and associated flooding, destructive winds, and coastal erosion, particularly during the cool season (April–September). Impacts depend on coastal proximity, strength and latitude. Therefore, it is important to investigate changes in frequency, duration, location, and intensity of these systems. First, an existing observation-based database of these low pressure systems, for 1970–2006, is extended to 2019, focusing on April–September and using archived Australian Bureau of Meteorology MSLP charts. Second, data consistency between 1970 and 2006 and 2007 and 2019 is confirmed. Third, permutation testing is performed on differences in means and variances between the two 25-year intervals 1970–1994 and 1995–2019. Additionally, trends in positions, durations and central pressures of the systems are investigated. p-values from permutation tests reveal statistically significant increases in mean low pressure system frequencies. Specifically, a greater frequency of both total days and initial development days only, occurred in the latter period. Statistically significant lower variance for both latitude and longitude in systems that developed in both subtropical easterly and mid-latitude westerly wind regimes indicate a shift south and east in the latter period. Furthermore, statistically significant differences in variance of development location of explosive low pressure systems that develop in a low level easterly wind regime indicate a shift further south and east. These changes are consistent with fewer systems projected to impact the east coast. Finally, important changes are suggested in the large scale atmospheric dynamics of the eastern Australian/Tasman Sea region. View Full-Text
Keywords: east coast lows; southeast Australia; climatology; impacts; climate change trends east coast lows; southeast Australia; climatology; impacts; climate change trends
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MDPI and ACS Style

Speer, M.; Leslie, L.; Hartigan, J.; MacNamara, S. Changes in Frequency and Location of East Coast Low Pressure Systems Affecting Southeast Australia. Climate 2021, 9, 44. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030044

AMA Style

Speer M, Leslie L, Hartigan J, MacNamara S. Changes in Frequency and Location of East Coast Low Pressure Systems Affecting Southeast Australia. Climate. 2021; 9(3):44. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030044

Chicago/Turabian Style

Speer, Milton; Leslie, Lance; Hartigan, Joshua; MacNamara, Shev. 2021. "Changes in Frequency and Location of East Coast Low Pressure Systems Affecting Southeast Australia" Climate 9, no. 3: 44. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030044

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