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Viewing historical and future wind information for Alaska

May 5, 2020 @ 10:00 am to 11:00 am AKDT

Speakers: John Walsh, ACCAP
Sarah Pearl, International Arctic Research Center (IARC) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Student/Dartmouth College
Kyle Redilla, International Arctic Research Center (IARC)

Not presenting but involved in the tool development:
Bruce Crevensten, International Arctic Research Center (IARC)

Wind is a climate variable with major impacts on humans, ecosystems and infrastructure, especially in coastal regions with cold climates. Climate-related changes in high-wind events have important implications for high-latitude residents, yet there has heretofore been no systematic evaluation of such changes in a framework spanning historical and future timeframes.

ACCAP has recently developed a visualization tool that displays wind information for 71 coastal and inland locations around Alaska, based on hourly station reports and hourly downscaled winds from two climate models.

We will introduce the tool by showing average monthly wind speeds, wind roses, and frequencies of high-wind events in past and future decades. High-wind events determined are most frequent during winter at coastal locations. High-wind events are projected by both climate models to become less frequent in Southeast Alaska but more frequent in the northern and western Alaska coastal regions, which are precisely the regions in which the protective sea ice cover is decreasing.