Spatio-temporal Variability of Extreme Temperature and Drought Events in Louisiana

Authors: Rubayet Mostafiz*, Louisiana State University, Carol J. Friedland, Louisiana State University, Robert V Rohli, Louisiana State University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Hazards and Vulnerability, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: extreme temperature events, hazards risk assessment, drought, hydroclimate, climatology, Louisiana
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download

Abundant Gulf of Mexico moisture, along with atmospheric instability and low elevations, place Louisiana in a high-risk zone for atmospheric and hydrologic hazards, including hurricanes and other tropical cyclones, severe thunderstorms, lightning, heavy rainfall, flooding, tornadoes, drought, heat waves, and winter storms. In addition to loss of life and inconvenience, most of these natural hazards are economically devastating. More research is needed in improving understanding of impacts and losses due to these hazards. Particularly little research has examined comprehensively the spatio-temporal distribution of the impacts of temperature-generated extreme events (i.e., extreme heat, winter storm, drought etc.) at various threshold levels and estimated future occurrences. This project examines frequencies of maximum and minimum temperature days, occurrences of average high-low temperature in both summer and winter, historical temperature distributions, probable future occurrences in 2050, and occurrence of present and future drought, as a prelude to a comprehensive assessment of future impacts of these hazards in Louisiana. Daily temperature data and weekly drought index data are collected from the National Centers for Environmental Information for the 1992-2017 period and from the United States Drought Monitor for the 2000-2017 period, respectively, with spatial analyses conducted using ArcGIS Desktop 10.5. Results suggest that, on average, the number of days of minimum temperature (<32⁰F) occurrence is higher than the maximum temperature (>95⁰F) occurrence days. Drought intensity is higher in northwestern Louisiana than in other parts of the state. Trend analysis suggests that warming conditions observed elsewhere are exerting less influence in Louisiana’s extreme temperature climatology.

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