Tropical Pacific and North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature Patterns Modulate Mississippi Basin Hydroclimate Extremes Over the Last Millennium

Xinyue Luo*, Sylvia Dee, Trinity Lavenhouse, Samuel Muñoz, Nathan Steiger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mississippi River basin floods impart large socioeconomic impacts over the central United States. Improving flood predictability depends on our understanding of the dynamical controls on Mississippi basin hydroclimate. However, short instrumental records make it difficult to constrain the connections between flooding and climate variability. Here, we use the Paleo Hydrodynamics Data Assimilation product, spanning the Last Millennium, to investigate the impacts of tropical Pacific and North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) variability on hydrological extremes across the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. Wet extremes are associated with strong El Niño-like warming over the tropical Pacific, but specific SST patterns matter: dry (wet) conditions occur during Central Pacific (Eastern Pacific) El Niño events. The influence of North Atlantic SSTs is less clear, but cool SSTs contribute to Ohio basin wet extremes. These results are relevant for seasonal-to-interannual flood hazard prediction on the fourth largest river basin in the world.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2022GL100715
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Authors.

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