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Skeeter, W. J., J. C. Senkbeil, and D. J. Keelings. 2018. Spatial and temporal changes in the frequencey and magnitude of intense precipitation events in the southeastern United States. International Journal of Climatology. 


Intense precipitation events (IPE; 99th percentile) in the southeastern United States from 1950 to 2016 were analysed temporally, spatially, and synoptically. The study area was partitioned into latitudinal and physiographic regions to identify subregions that experienced significant changes in IPE frequency or intensity. Furthermore, the spatial synoptic classification (SSC) was used to ascertain what surface weather types are associated with IPEs. Additionally, in conjunction with the SSC, surface forcing mechanisms for the 30 most extreme subregional IPEs were studied to uncover the surface synoptic conditions responsible for IPEs. Results revealed that IPEs increased in frequency and intensity on an annual basis for the southeastern United States. Seasonal results indicated that IPE frequency only increased in the fall. Subregional results reveal that latitudinally, IPEs became more common in the northern latitudes of the study area, while physiographically, significant increases in IPE frequency were most pronounced in areas inland from the Atlantic Coastal Plain. An increase in the annual number of IPEs associated with moist tropical (MT) days was identified across the study area, but was more prevalent in the central and north central latitudinal regions, and areas inland from the Atlantic Coastal Plain outside of the Appalachian Mountains. This MT increase was possibly caused by more common northwards and inland intrusion of these types of IPEs. While moist moderate (MM) and transitional (TR) days were most commonly associated with IPEs, these weather types did not have significant trends. The surface forcing mechanisms most commonly associated with the strongest IPEs were tropical events, followed by stationary fronts and concentric low‐pressure systems.

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