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Why dry? Investigating the future evolution of the Caribbean Low Level Jet to explain projected Caribbean drying



Under global warming the Caribbean is projected to be significantly drier by century's end during its primary rainy season from May to November. The PRECIS regional model is used to simulate the end-of-century (2071–2100) manifestation of the Caribbean Low Level Jet (CLLJ) under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global warming scenarios. The CLLJ is a feature of the Intra-American seas which during its July peak is dynamically linked to a brief mid-summer drying and interruption of the Caribbean rainy season. The regional model captures the CLLJ's present-day spatial and temporal characteristics reasonably well, simulating both the boreal winter (February) and summer (July) peaks. Under global warming there is an intensification of the CLLJ's core strength from May through November. The intensification is such that by October the CLLJ is of comparable core strength to its present-day peak in July. The persistence of the strong CLLJ beyond July and through November is linked to the perpetuation of a dry pattern in the Caribbean in the future. In contrast, the boreal winter manifestation of the CLLJ is largely unaltered in the future. Copyright © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society

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