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HOME > Outreach > Meetings > 33rd Annual Climate Diagnostics & Prediction Workshop > Abstracts

Simulating Multi-Season Past Droughts


Abstract Author: Sumant Nigam

Abstract Title: North American Droughts in the 20th Century: Role of SST Variability and Trend


  • Models are improving but still challenged in simulating the regional-to-subcontinental scale hydroclimate anomalies, especially in summer
  • Insights into regional climate projections can, perhaps, be obtained in the interim by mining the observational record itself
  • An evolution-centric analysis of Pacific SSTs (and residual Atlantic SSTs) leads to characterization of the secular trend in context of natural low-frequency variability. The clarified struture of decadal variability and the non-stationary secular trend result in an unprecedented reconstruction of summer/fall droughts and wet periods from the concurrent SST anomalies.
  • To be insightful, empirical drought reconstruction will need grounding in mechanisms. Findings from ongoing analysis will be reported.
  • Observational analysis indicates an important role for the Atlantic basin SSTs (both tropical and extratropical) in North American summer/fall droughts.

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