Relationships among monsoon-season circulation patterns, gulf surges, and rainfall within the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA
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The purpose of this study is to assess the connections between the monsoon anticyclone, gulf surges, and rainfall within the Lower Colorado River Basin (LCRB) during North American monsoon seasons from 1988-2006. The methods involved calculating rainfall characteristics and near-surface humidity for 500-hPa circulation patterns, creating circulation and near-surface humidity composites for rainfall days, and creating near-surface humidity composites for rainfall days occurring under each circulation pattern. The circulation was dominated by the monsoon anticyclone being over or to the immediate east of the basin. The anticyclone was shifted to the northwest (east) of its seasonal mean position on rainfall days in the central portion of the basin (far eastern portion of the basin). Rainfall influenced by gulf surges was most likely when the monsoon anticyclone was shifted westward, especially northwestward, of its typical position. The central portion of the basin received substantially more surge-influenced rainfall than did the far eastern portion of the basin.
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