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Natalie P. Thomas, Michael G. Bosilovich, Allison B. Marquardt Collow, Randal D. Koster, Siegfried D. Schubert, Amin Dezfuli, and Sarith P. Mahanama

primary focus here. Section 2 describes the data and analysis methods. Section 3 details the results, starting with an assessment of the climatology and trends in heat-wave frequency over the United States and followed by a composite analysis to investigate mechanisms that contribute to heat waves. A summary and conclusions are provided in section 4 . 2. Data and methods a. MERRA-2 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and

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Kevin Hodges, Alison Cobb, and Pier Luigi Vidale

beyond, which is useful for TC-related extratropical risk analysis and GCM assessment ( Haarsma et al. 2013 ). The use of reanalysis could also assist in the identification of subtropical and hybrid tropical storms ( Roth 2002 ; Guishard et al. 2009 ), which are also associated with severe weather, providing a more complete set of tropical storm data for use in GCM assessment than is perhaps currently present in best-track data; the inclusion of these types of storms in the best-track datasets is

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Ronald Gelaro, Will McCarty, Max J. Suárez, Ricardo Todling, Andrea Molod, Lawrence Takacs, Cynthia A. Randles, Anton Darmenov, Michael G. Bosilovich, Rolf Reichle, Krzysztof Wargan, Lawrence Coy, Richard Cullather, Clara Draper, Santha Akella, Virginie Buchard, Austin Conaty, Arlindo M. da Silva, Wei Gu, Gi-Kong Kim, Randal Koster, Robert Lucchesi, Dagmar Merkova, Jon Eric Nielsen, Gary Partyka, Steven Pawson, William Putman, Michele Rienecker, Siegfried D. Schubert, Meta Sienkiewicz, and Bin Zhao

quantities, and a poor representation of the upper stratosphere (e.g., Bosilovich et al. 2011 ; Robertson et al. 2011 ; Reichle et al. 2011 ; Rienecker et al. 2011 ). In addition, the long-term viability of MERRA was limited by system constraints that precluded the incorporation of new satellite data sources beyond NOAA-18 , which launched in 2005. At the time of its termination in March 2016, MERRA was at risk of suffering a significant degradation in quality were certain observing platforms to

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