Abstract 163

Abstract ID: 163

A Comparison of Boreal Winter and Summer Heat Wave Characteristics in the US Southern Great Plains

Lead Author: Taylor Grace
School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, United States of America

Keywords: Extreme Heat, Boreal Winter Season , Heat Wave Forcing Mechanisms, Subseasonal-to-Seasonal Predictability

Abstract: Extreme heat continues to impact numerous regions of the globe, bringing detrimental socioeconomic impacts on sectors including human health, agriculture, and water availability. Further, increasing temperatures due to climate change are not exclusive to the summer season with significant warming signals during the winter months as well. For example, on January 1, 2023, numerous temperature records were broken across Europe with measured maximum temperatures that ranged from 11℃ to 20℃. Many locations experienced approximately double the average temperature for January. Heat wave events that occur during the winter season are becoming more frequent. While impacts from winter heat wave events are not as impactful on human health, these extreme events can have large implications on energy, water resources, and agriculture. At the same time, established heat wave definitions have not been applied to the winter season. Previous studies have primarily examined the common forcing mechanisms for heat wave events during the summer season, whereas the forcing mechanisms of winter season extreme heat events are relatively unknown. Therefore, this study aims to understand the forcing mechanisms that aided the development of extreme winter season heat experienced across the southern portion of the Contiguous United States during December of 2021. Moreso, this study examines the subseasonal-to-seasonal similarities and differences between extreme heat during the summer season and winter season with respect to synoptic scale forcing, teleconnections, boundary layer mechanics, and impacts. Increasing our understanding of extreme heat events during the winter season will increase confidence in subseasonal-to-seasonal predictability of winter heat wave events and further mitigate accompanied disastrous impacts.

Jeffrey Basara (School of Meteorology, Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma) Ryann Wakefield (Verisk, Inc.)