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Keywords:

  • convection;
  • climate;
  • NARCCAP

ABSTRACT

This study examines trends in atmospheric environments conducive to the development of severe convection in the United States, as simulated by a regional model forced with output from a global climate model. Meteorological variables necessary for severe convection from current (1981–1995) and future (2041–2065) epochs were compared. Results indicate a statistically significant increase in the number of significant severe weather environments in the Northeast United States, Great Lakes, and Southeast Canada regions. Regional severe weather environment increases can be attributed to both an increase in convective available potential energy (CAPE) and the number of times deep-layer wind shear and CAPE juxtaposition. Given the current distribution of severe convective weather, these changes would alter the current physical risk of severe convective storms across a large population.