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Project ID: 13-3-01-4

Year: 2013

Date Started: 09/01/2013

Date Completed: 08/29/2014

Title: The West Coast Thermal Trough: Historical and Future Trends

Project Proposal Abstract: Originating in the southwest U.S., the West Coast thermal trough (WCTT) is an inverted pressure trough that can extend northward into Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, with large impacts on temperature, wind, humidity, and air quality. Despite the significant impacts of the WCTT on West Coast weather and climate, questions remain regarding historical and future trends of WCTT events. Of particular interest are how WCTT frequency, intensity, and evolution has changed over the last half century, and how such trends may change under various climate change scenarios. To answer such questions, the software for finding WCTTs as described by Brewer et al. (2012) will be utilized to find historical and future trends in WCTT events. The data to be used are from WRF model simulations produced by dynamically downscaling the NCEP reanalysis and several Special Report Emission Scenarios (SRES) (A1B, A2) for a collection of IPCC AR-4 simulations using differing modeling systems (e.g., CCSM-3, ECHAM-5). Specific focus will be given to understanding how heat waves and marine pushes associated with WCTT events will change in intensity as the climate warms. How will the frequency of WCTT-induced wind events and convergence/upward motion plumes, features of great importance to wildfires, change under global warming? As answers to these questions are found, the information will be disseminated to the operational and research communities in the form of published papers as well as in conferences, workshops, and informal meetings with operational forecasters and land managers.

Principal Investigator: Clifford F. Mass

Agency/Organization: University of Washington

Branch or Dept: Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Carol Rhodes

University of Washington

Office of Sponsored Programs

Budget Contact

Carol Rhodes

University of Washington

Office of Sponsored Programs

Student Investigator

Matthew C. Brewer

University of Washington

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network







Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

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