Increasing Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Amounts over the Past 300+ Years

Authors: Justin Maxwell*, Indiana University, Joshua C Bregy, Indiana University, Scott M Robeson, Indiana University, Paul A Kanpp, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Peter T Soule, Appalachian State University, Valerie Trouet, University of Arizona
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Physical Geography
Keywords: Tropical cyclones, dendrochronology, tree rings
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: Download



The effects of inland flooding caused by tropical cyclones (TCs), including loss of life, infrastructure disruption, and alteration of natural landscapes, have increased over recent decades. While these changes are well documented, long-term variability and trends in the proximate cause of changes in inland flooding from extreme tropical cyclone precipitation (TCP) amounts have been harder to detect. Here, we develop and analyze a 318-year record of seasonal total TCP based on the latewood ring widths from the region in North America that receives the most TCP: coastal North and South Carolina, USA. Our reconstruction of seasonal total TCP extends into pre-industrial conditions and reveals that extreme seasonal TCP totals have increased by 2-6mm/decade since 1700 CE, an increase of 64 to 191mm over the 300+-year record. Consistent with the hypothesis that TCs are moving slower and becoming more likely to stall under anthropogenic climate change, we also show that seasonal TCP amounts in this region are related to TC duration. Our reconstruction provides the first documentation of increases in extreme seasonal TCP totals over multi-centennial timescales.

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