Purdue Climate Change Research Center

The Response of Convective Precipitating Storms to Anthropogenically Enhanced Global Radiative Forcing

Funded by the National Science Foundation

Convective precipitating storms (CPSs) and the associated hazards of hail, destructive surface winds, tornadoes, and flash floods pose serious risks to life and property. These hazardous phenomena are governed by the 3D distributions of atmospheric moisture, temperature, and wind. Simple physical arguments suggest that changes in these variables resulting from anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gas concentrations will in turn affect the frequency and intensity of CPSs. As the investigators have shown in their pilot project, valuable insight about the dynamics of this local response can be gained using climate models in which convective processes are parameterized at subgrid scales. However, the limitations of this “indirect” approach highlight the importance of applying numerical models that explicitly resolve convective storms over large continental areas. In their preliminary work, the team also established the basic viability of telescoping modeling strategies that consist of integrations of a convective-cloud-permitting model [the Weather Research and Forecasting model] nested within a global model (the G-C strategy) and within a regional model that is itself nested within a global model (the G-R-C strategy). Building on the success of the pilot work, the team will utilize these strategies to generate climatologies of CPSs and associated hazards over modern and future time periods.


Robert (Jeff) Trapp, Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

Noah Diffenbaugh, EAS

Michael Baldwin, EAS

Alexander Gluhovsky, EAS and Statistics

Contact Information

Purdue University
203 S. Martin Jischke Drive
MANN 105
West Lafayette, IN 47907