Increasing frequencies of warm and humid air masses over the conterminous United States from 1948 to 2005

David B. Knight, Robert E. Davis, Scott C. Sheridan, David M. Hondula, Luke J. Sitka, Michael Deaton, Temple R. Lee, Stephen D. Gawtry, Philip J. Stenger, Francesco Mazzei, Barrett P. Kenny

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Abstract

Time series of individual climate variables, such as air temperature and precipitation, have been thoroughly examined to evaluate climate change, but few studies have evaluated how air masses have varied over time. We use the Spatial Synoptic Classification air mass approach to classify multivariate meteorological surface variables into discrete groups and examine trends in air mass frequencies over the period 1948-2005 for the continental United States. We observe increases in warm, moist air masses at the expense of cold, dry air masses, consistent with expectations in an atmosphere with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Temporal variations in the North Atlantic Oscillation, Pacific/North American teleconnection pattern, Arctic Oscillation, and El Niño-Southern Oscillation partially explain some of these observed trends in winter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL10702
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2008
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Knight, D. B., Davis, R. E., Sheridan, S. C., Hondula, D. M., Sitka, L. J., Deaton, M., Lee, T. R., Gawtry, S. D., Stenger, P. J., Mazzei, F., & Kenny, B. P. (2008). Increasing frequencies of warm and humid air masses over the conterminous United States from 1948 to 2005. Geophysical Research Letters, 35(10), [L10702]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008GL033697