You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: The missing mountain water: Slower westerlies decrease orographic enhancement in the Pacific Northwest USA
Author: Luce, C. H.; Abatzoglou, J. T.; Holden, Z. A.
Source: Science. 342: 1360-1364.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Trends in streamflow timing and volume in the Pacific Northwest United States have been attributed to increased temperatures because trends in precipitation at lower elevation stations were negligible. We demonstrate that observed streamflow declines likely are associated with declines in mountain precipitation, revealing previously unexplored differential trends. Lower-troposphere winter (November-March) westerlies are strongly correlated to high elevation precipitation but weakly correlated with low elevation precipitation. Decreases in lower-tropospheric winter westerlies across the region from 1950-2012 are hypothesized to have reduced orographic precipitation enhancement, yielding differential trends in precipitation across elevations and contributing to the decline in annual streamflow. Climate projections show weakened lower troposphere zonal flow across the region under enhanced greenhouse forcing, highlighting an additional stressor relevant for climate change impacts on hydrology.
Keywords: streamflow timing, mountain precipitation, climate change, hydrology
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
XML: View XML
Luce, C. H.; Abatzoglou, J. T.; Holden, Z. A. 2013. The missing mountain water: Slower westerlies decrease orographic enhancement in the Pacific Northwest USA. Science. 342: 1360-1364.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility