Analysis of Roanoke Region Weather Patterns Under Global Teleconnections

by Eric John LaRocque

Institution: Virginia Tech
Department: Civil Engineering
Degree: MS
Year: 2007
Keywords: glocal circulations; synoptic scale classification; snoptic scale weather patterns
Record ID: 1793369
Full text PDF: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-03102007-141010/


This work attempts to relate global teleconnections, through physical phenomena such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Artic Oscillation (AO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern to synoptic-scale weather patterns and precipitation in the Roanoke, Virginia region. The first chapter describes the behavior of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) by implementing non-homogeneous and homogeneous Markov Chain models on a monthly time series of the Troup Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), a sea level pressure based index. Meanwhile, in the second chapter the author has related or an attempt has been made to relate global teleconnections (through ENSO and AO) to a synoptic scale, station-centered set of weather types in order to assess trends in precipitation. The final portion of this work describes spatial variability of seasonal precipitation in southwestern Virginia in a context that incorporates global teleconnections (through AO, PNA, NAO, and ENSO) and frontogenesis. It was found that the Markov property can be used to describe and predict the monthly evolution of ENSO. Also evident is an increased probability of a wetter spring in the Roanoke region when El Nino combines with the negative phase of the AO during the previous winter. Meanwhile, Roanoke winters subsequent to a fall season described by this same El Nino-AO condition are predicted to receive more precipitation than average. This work additionally showed possible trends between frontal-precipitation events in the Roanoke region and global teleconnections.