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Donald J. Perkey, Kevin N. Young, and Carl W. Kreitzberg

Newspapers, television, and newsweeklies contained numerous articles proclaiming drought conditions during 1980 and 1981. This study investigates the causes and consequences of the drought as it affected eastern Pennsylvania. Precipitation data indicate below-average amounts during this period, while temperature records show above-average values. These values show that a meteorological drought did occur in this region during 1980 and 1981. However, meteorological factors were only part of the cause of the region's water shortage.

In addition to analyzing the drought's meteorological origin, this study probes the anthropogenic and regional social-political causes and impacts of the water shortage. Although regional water storage facilities are adequate when below-average precipitation amounts occur in very local areas, they are not adequate when below-average amounts occur over larger regions. This inadequacy is compounded when demands such as the needs of other political regions and the river-basin ecological system are included in addition to the primary region's industrial and domestic water requirements. Thus, this paper illustrates some of the complexities involved in trying to prepare for the normal fluctuations in a climatic variable such as precipitation amount.

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Rongqing Han, Hui Wang, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Arun Kumar, Weijing Li, Lindsey N. Long, Jae-Kyung E. Schemm, Peitao Peng, Wanqiu Wang, Dong Si, Xiaolong Jia, Ming Zhao, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Timothy E. LaRow, Young-Kwon Lim, Siegfried D. Schubert, Suzana J. Camargo, Naomi Henderson, Jeffrey A. Jonas, and Kevin J. E. Walsh

Abstract

An assessment of simulations of the interannual variability of tropical cyclones (TCs) over the western North Pacific (WNP) and its association with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), as well as a subsequent diagnosis for possible causes of model biases generated from simulated large-scale climate conditions, are documented in the paper. The model experiments are carried out by the Hurricane Work Group under the U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Research Program (CLIVAR) using five global climate models (GCMs) with a total of 16 ensemble members forced by the observed sea surface temperature and spanning the 28-yr period from 1982 to 2009. The results show GISS and GFDL model ensemble means best simulate the interannual variability of TCs, and the multimodel ensemble mean (MME) follows. Also, the MME has the closest climate mean annual number of WNP TCs and the smallest root-mean-square error to the observation.

Most GCMs can simulate the interannual variability of WNP TCs well, with stronger TC activities during two types of El Niño—namely, eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP) El Niño—and weaker activity during La Niña. However, none of the models capture the differences in TC activity between EP and CP El Niño as are shown in observations. The inability of models to distinguish the differences in TC activities between the two types of El Niño events may be due to the bias of the models in response to the shift of tropical heating associated with CP El Niño.

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