A Synoptic Classification of Inflow-Generating Precipitation in the Snowy Mountains, Australia

Theobald, Alison., McGowan, Hamish., Speirs, Johanna. and Callow, Nik. (2015) A Synoptic Classification of Inflow-Generating Precipitation in the Snowy Mountains, Australia. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 54 8: 1713-1732. doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0278.1

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Author Theobald, Alison.
McGowan, Hamish.
Speirs, Johanna.
Callow, Nik.
Title A Synoptic Classification of Inflow-Generating Precipitation in the Snowy Mountains, Australia
Journal name Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1558-8424
Publication date 2015-08
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0278.1
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 54
Issue 8
Start page 1713
End page 1732
Total pages 20
Place of publication Boston, United States
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Precipitation falling in the Snowy Mountains region of southeastern Australia provides fuel for hydroelectric power generation and environmental flows along major river systems, as well as critical water resources for agricultural irrigation. A synoptic climatology of daily precipitation that triggers a quantifiable increase in streamflow in the headwater catchments of the Snowy Mountains region is presented for the period 1958–2012. Here, previous synoptic-meteorological studies of the region are extended by using a longer-term, year-round precipitation and reanalysis dataset combined with a novel, automated synoptic-classification technique. A three-dimensional representation of synoptic circulation is developed by effectively combining meteorological variables through the depth of the troposphere. Eleven distinct synoptic types are identified, describing key circulation features and moisture pathways that deliver precipitation to the Snowy Mountains. Synoptic types with the highest precipitation totals are commonly associated with moisture pathways originating from the northeast and northwest of Australia. These systems generate the greatest precipitation totals across the westerly and high-elevation areas of the Snowy Mountains, but precipitation is reduced in the eastern-elevation areas in the lee of the mountain ranges. In eastern regions, synoptic types with onshore transport of humid air from the Tasman Sea are the major source of precipitation. Strong seasonality in synoptic types is evident, with frontal and cutoff-low types dominating in winter and inland heat troughs prevailing in summer. Interaction between tropical and extratropical systems is evident in all seasons.
Keyword Cool-Season Rainfall
Southeastern Australia
Climatological Classification
Weather Types
Winter Precipitation
Southern Australia
Subtropical Ridge
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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