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Title: Projections of Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulation Patterns and Associated Temperature and Precipitation over the Pacific Northwest Using CMIP6 Models

Climate model projections of atmospheric circulation patterns, their frequency, and associated temperature and precipitation anomalies under a high-end global warming scenario are assessed over the Pacific Northwest of North America for the final three decades of the twenty-first century. Model simulations are from phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) and circulation patterns are identified using the self-organizing maps (SOMs) approach, applied to 500-hPa geopotential height (Z500) anomalies. Overall, the range of projected circulation patterns is similar to that in the current climate, especially in winter, whereas in summer the models project a general reduction in the magnitude of Z500 anomalies. Significant changes in pattern frequencies are also projected in summer, with an overall decrease in the frequency of patterns with large Z500 anomalies. In winter, patterns historically associated with anomalously cold weather in northern latitudes are projected to warm the most, and in summer the largest temperature increases are projected over inland areas. Precipitation is found to increase across all seasons and most SOM patterns. However, some summer patterns that are associated with above-average precipitation in the current climate are projected to become significantly drier by the end of the century.

Significance Statement

This paper uses a novel method to analyze projections of large-scale atmospheric circulation over the Pacific Northwest of North America, reducing the uncertainty of changes to the circulation patterns over the region under a high-emissions scenario of global warming.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
American Meteorological Society
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Medium: X Size: p. 7257-7275
p. 7257-7275
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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