Winter Climate Variability In The Southern Appalachian Mountains, 1910-2017

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Montana Alan Eck (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
L. Baker Perry

Abstract: Recognized as an anomalous region regarding climate change, this study identifies long-term trends and variation of temperature and snowfall during climatological winter (DJF) from 1910 to 2017. The identification of several teleconnection patterns, namely ENSO, NAO, and PDO, allow for further understanding of how this region has remained a climatic anomaly. Results of this study indicate that the southern Appalachian Mountains have experienced a statistically significant long-term cooling trend since the early 20th century, with recent decades suggesting a reversal of this cooling. Snowfall is characterized by high interannual variability, with the 1960s and 1970s producing anomalously high amounts of snowfall. Most notably, negative temperature anomalies and higher snowfall amounts are frequently found during moderate El Niño and negative NAO seasons, with the opposite being true during strong La Niña and positive NAO winters. The influence of these teleconnection patterns is spatially dependent, with areas east of the Blue Ridge Escarpment highly dependent on the phase of ENSO, whereas western slopes favor the NAO. The identification of these pattern couplings is critical to not only improving understanding of the anomalous climate of the southern Appalachian Mountains but also in enhancing seasonal forecasting and predicting future climate change in the region.

Additional Information

Eck, M. (2017). Winter Climate Variability In The Southern Appalachian Mountains, 1910-2017. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Climate Variability, Climate Change, Global Teleconnections, Southern Appalachian Mountains, Snowfall

Email this document to