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Daily synoptic conditions associated with occurrences of compound events in estuaries along North Atlantic coastlines

Daily synoptic conditions associated with occurrences of compound events in estuaries along North Atlantic coastlines
Daily synoptic conditions associated with occurrences of compound events in estuaries along North Atlantic coastlines
Coastal compound flooding events occur when extreme events of rainfall, river discharge and sea level coincide and collectively increase water surface elevation, exacerbating flooding. The meteorological conditions that generate these events are usually low-pressure systems that generate high winds and intense rainfall. In this study, we identify the types of synoptic atmospheric conditions that are typically associated with coastal compound events using a weather-type approach, for the North Atlantic coastlines (encompassing northwest Europe and the east coast of the United States). Compound events are identified along the estuaries of the study region from 1980 to 2014 based on an impact function defined by water surface elevation that resulted from the combination of river discharge and sea level. We find that compound events are more frequent along European as opposed to U.S. coastlines. In both cases, they are associated with a few dominant weather patterns. European hotspots of compound events are concentrated in the west coast of United Kingdom, the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula and around the Strait of Gibraltar. These areas share the same weather patterns which represent the main pathways of storms that cross the North Atlantic Ocean. In the case of U.S. locations, the areas with highest number of compound events are located mainly in the Gulf of Mexico and along Mexico and along the mid-eastern U.S. coastlines. In these areas, compound events are produced by transitional weather patterns, which describe storms that travel northward parallel to the coastline. Splitting the occurrence of compound events in the corresponding weather types discriminates the interannual variability based on the relationship with dominant climate indices in the North Atlantic Ocean.
North Atlantic, coastal flooding, compound events, estuaries, weather types
Camus Brana, Paula
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Haigh, Ivan
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Wahl, Thomas
fbac2b37-5fd8-41d1-85b1-024e9f61ff34
Nasr, Ahmed A.
1cdd0ff6-1608-43e4-bca6-c2410318b7eb
Mendez, Fernando
da023e8b-550e-4f57-a015-c1bf1643d46c
Darby, Stephen
4c3e1c76-d404-4ff3-86f8-84e42fbb7970
Nicholls, Robert
70db0f76-6a07-417d-9dfc-644a0c98b637
Camus Brana, Paula
66625386-9051-4ea8-a0fa-956751534796
Haigh, Ivan
945ff20a-589c-47b7-b06f-61804367eb2d
Wahl, Thomas
fbac2b37-5fd8-41d1-85b1-024e9f61ff34
Nasr, Ahmed A.
1cdd0ff6-1608-43e4-bca6-c2410318b7eb
Mendez, Fernando
da023e8b-550e-4f57-a015-c1bf1643d46c
Darby, Stephen
4c3e1c76-d404-4ff3-86f8-84e42fbb7970
Nicholls, Robert
70db0f76-6a07-417d-9dfc-644a0c98b637

Camus Brana, Paula, Haigh, Ivan, Wahl, Thomas, Nasr, Ahmed A., Mendez, Fernando, Darby, Stephen and Nicholls, Robert (2022) Daily synoptic conditions associated with occurrences of compound events in estuaries along North Atlantic coastlines. International Journal of Climatology. (doi:10.1002/joc.7556).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Coastal compound flooding events occur when extreme events of rainfall, river discharge and sea level coincide and collectively increase water surface elevation, exacerbating flooding. The meteorological conditions that generate these events are usually low-pressure systems that generate high winds and intense rainfall. In this study, we identify the types of synoptic atmospheric conditions that are typically associated with coastal compound events using a weather-type approach, for the North Atlantic coastlines (encompassing northwest Europe and the east coast of the United States). Compound events are identified along the estuaries of the study region from 1980 to 2014 based on an impact function defined by water surface elevation that resulted from the combination of river discharge and sea level. We find that compound events are more frequent along European as opposed to U.S. coastlines. In both cases, they are associated with a few dominant weather patterns. European hotspots of compound events are concentrated in the west coast of United Kingdom, the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula and around the Strait of Gibraltar. These areas share the same weather patterns which represent the main pathways of storms that cross the North Atlantic Ocean. In the case of U.S. locations, the areas with highest number of compound events are located mainly in the Gulf of Mexico and along Mexico and along the mid-eastern U.S. coastlines. In these areas, compound events are produced by transitional weather patterns, which describe storms that travel northward parallel to the coastline. Splitting the occurrence of compound events in the corresponding weather types discriminates the interannual variability based on the relationship with dominant climate indices in the North Atlantic Ocean.

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Accepted/In Press date: 28 January 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 February 2022
Additional Information: Funding Information: This research forms part of the CHANCE project, which is supported by awards from the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NE/S010262/1) and US National Science Foundation (1929382). We would like to thank Dirk Eilander for providing support about the use of dataset of simulated water levels and discharge at river mouth locations globally which is available on Zenodo (doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3665734 ). Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors. International Journal of Climatology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Meteorological Society. Copyright: Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: North Atlantic, coastal flooding, compound events, estuaries, weather types

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 455185
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455185
PURE UUID: d921d0bb-732e-4511-95b6-f9d409ab5b43
ORCID for Ivan Haigh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9722-3061
ORCID for Stephen Darby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8778-4394

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Date deposited: 14 Mar 2022 17:44
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 01:57

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Contributors

Author: Ivan Haigh ORCID iD
Author: Thomas Wahl
Author: Ahmed A. Nasr
Author: Fernando Mendez
Author: Stephen Darby ORCID iD
Author: Robert Nicholls

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