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Webinar: The Atlantic Warm Pool and summer extreme heat events in the US

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Thursday, 14 October 2021, 2:00

Thursday, October 14, 2021. 2:00 PM. Webinar: The Atlantic Warm Pool and summer extreme heat events in the US. Hosmay Lopez, NOAA. Sponsored by NOAA. Register here.

Abstract: Heat waves are among the deadliest natural hazards affecting the United States (US). Therefore, understanding the physical mechanisms modulating their occurrence is essential for improving their predictions and future projections. This study uses observational data as well as model simulations and found that interannual variability of the tropical Atlantic warm pool (AWP, measured as the area enclosed by the 28.5C sea surface temperature isotherm), modulates heat wave occurrence over the Great Plains of the US during boreal summer. For example, a larger than normal AWP enhances atmospheric convection over the Caribbean Sea, driving a low-level cyclonic anomaly over the Gulf of Mexico, weakening the western edge of the Atlantic Subtropical High. This circulation anomaly thus weakens the Great Plain low-level jet (GPLLJ) and associated moisture transport into the Great Plains, eventually leading to drought conditions and increased heat wave occurrence for most of the U.S east of the Rockies.

Bio(s): Dr. Lopez is an oceanographer at the NOAA/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. He is currently engaged in several research projects, which aim at studying the ocean-atmosphere interaction, climate variability and change, the occurrence of extreme weather events. One of Dr. Lopez recent studies involves assessing the relative role of anthropogenic (i.e., climate change) forcing versus natural variability in the occurrence of heat wave events in the U.S. He is also investigating how climate change will impact El Nio Southern Oscillation occurrence. Dr. Lopez is currently a member of several research communities, such as the NOAA-OAR-CPO-MAPP CMIP6- Trask-Force Team, the US-AMOC Science team for US CLIVAR, and the NOAA MAPP Subseasonal-to-Seasonal (S2S) Prediction Task Force. He has a BS in Meteorology and Mathematics from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the University of Miami.

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