Sensitivity of low-level jets to land-use and land-cover change over the continental U.S.
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Atmosphere. 10(4): 174. 17 p.
Lower-tropospheric wind maxima, known as low-level jets (LLJs), play a vital role in weather and climate around the world. In this study, two 10-year (2006–2015) regional climate simulations using current (2011) and future (2100) land-use/land-cover (LULC) patterns over the continental United States (CONUS) are used to assess the sensitivity of LLJ properties, including jet occurrence, maximum speed, and the elevation of the maximum, to changes in LULC. The three simulated LLJ properties exhibit greater sensitivity in summer than in winter. Summertime jets are projected to increase in frequency in the central CONUS, where cropland replaces grassland, and decrease in parts of the Ohio-River Valley and the Southeast, particularly Florida, where urban expansion occurs. Little change is projected for wintertime jet frequency. Larger modifications to jet speed and elevations are projected in parts of the Ohio River Valley, the upper Southeast, and the Intermountain West. While there is some evidence of weaker, more elevated jets with urban expansion, the connection between changes in jet speed and elevation and changes in LULC patterns at a given location is weak. This result suggests that LULC will primarily affect the large-scale atmospheric conditions that contribute to the formation of LLJs, particularly in winter.
Keywordslow-level jet; land use and land cover change; WRF; regional climate modeling
Nikolic, Jovanka; Zhong, Shiyuan; Pei, Lisi; Bian, Xindi; Heilman, Warren E.; Charney, Joseph J. 2019. Sensitivity of low-level jets to land-use and land-cover change over the continental U.S. Atmosphere. 10(4): 174. 17 p. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040174.