CAREER: The Response of Coastal Squall Line Dynamics to Climate Change

Project: Research project

Project Details


This study seeks to quantify the impact of a changing climate on severe thunderstorms over the eastern U.S. coastal region with emphasis on squall lines. This study has the potential to advance our knowledge and understanding of impactful natural hazards to society. While thunderstorms in the northeast may not be as strong, or as damaging, as storms over the central Great Plains of the U.S., the population density of the northeastern U.S. creates a condition for greater societal impact from these severe storms. In addition to the training of undergraduate and graduate students, the planned research includes a component of public outreach and education on role of statistical probability in weather forecasts and future climate simulations; as well as the potential societal impacts resulting from natural hazards such as severe thunderstorms.

Global circulation models (GCMs) project an increase in U.S. summertime severe storm activity, maximized over the coastal Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Presently, coastal squall lines account for roughly a third of all severe weather over the coastal Northeast. Their structure, lifecycle, and local hazards will respond to climatic atmospheric and oceanic changes, with sensitivity to factors including atmospheric instability, coastal sea surface temperature, and the coastal marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL). This research will combine existing climate scenario data, downscaled for mesoscale simulations, and ensemble modeling techniques to improve our understanding of the impact of severe thunderstorms in the northeastern U.S. in a warming climate.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/1812/31/19


  • National Science Foundation: $139,439.00


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