Climatic Change

, Volume 129, Issue 1–2, pp 307–321 | Cite as

Downscaled estimates of late 21st century severe weather from CCSM3

  • Vittorio A. GensiniEmail author
  • Thomas L. Mote


High-resolution dynamical downscaling is used to explore 2080–2090 peak-season hazardous convective weather as simulated from the Community Climate System Model version 3. Downscaling to 4 km grid spacing is performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting model. Tornadoes, damaging wind gusts, and large hail are simulated using a model proxy at hourly intervals for locations east of the U.S. Continental Divide. Future period results are placed into context using 1980–1990 output. While a limited sample size exists, a statistically significant increase in synthetic severe weather activity is noted in March, whereas event frequency is shown to slightly increase in April, and stay the same in May. These increases are primarily found in the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio River valleys. Diurnally, most of the increase in hazardous convective weather activity is shown to be in the hours surrounding local sunset. Peak-season severe weather is also shown to be more variable in the future with a skewed potential toward larger counts. Finally, modeled proxy events are compared to environmental parameters known to generate hazardous convective weather activity. These environmental conditions explain over 80 % of the variance associated with modeled reports during March–May and show an increasing future tendency. Finally, challenges associated with dynamical downscaling for purposes of resolving severe local storms are discussed.


Regional Climate Model Global Climate Model Future Period Convective Available Potential Energy Severe Weather 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank three anonymous reviewers that provided comments resulting in a significantly enhanced manuscript. In addition, thanks to Drs. Harold Brooks (National Severe Storms Laboratory) and Marshall Shepherd (University of Georgia) for feedback during initial stages of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Meteorology ProgramCollege of DuPageGlen EllynUSA
  2. 2.Climatology Research Laboratory, Department of GeographyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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