Changes in freezing rain occurrence over eastern Canada using convection-permitting climate simulations

Marinier, Sébastien; Thériault, Julie Mireille et Ikeda, Kyoko (2022). « Changes in freezing rain occurrence over eastern Canada using convection-permitting climate simulations ». Climate Dynamics.

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Freezing precipitation has major consequences for ground and air transportation, the health of citizens, and power networks. Previous studies using coarse resolution climate models have shown a northward migration of freezing rain in the future. Increased model resolution can better define local topography leading to improved representation of conditions that are favorable for freezing rain. The goal of this study is to examine the climatology and characteristics of future freezing rain events using very-high resolution climate simulations. Historical and pseudo-global warming simulations with a 4-km horizontal grid length were used and compared with available observations. Simulations revealed a northerly shift of freezing rain occurrence, and an increase in the winter. Freezing rain was still shown to occur in the Saint-Lawrence River Valley in a warmer climate, primarily due to stronger wind channeling. Up to 50% of the future freezing rain events also occurred in present day climate within 12 h of each other. In northern Maine, they are typically shorter than 6 h in current climate and longer than 6 h in warmer conditions due to the onset of precipitation during low-pressure systems occurrences. The occurrence of freezing rain also locally increases slightly north of Québec City in a warmer climate because of freezing rain that is produced by warm rain processes. Overall, the study shows that high-resolution regional climate simulations are needed to study freezing rain events in warmer climate conditions, because high horizontal resolutions better define small-scale topographic features and local physical mechanisms that have an influence on these events.

Type: Article de revue scientifique
Informations complémentaires: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Mots-clés ou Sujets: Freezing rain, convection-permitting, winter storms, global warming
Unité d'appartenance: Centres institutionnels > Centre pour l'étude et la simulation du climat à l'échelle régionale (ESCER)
Faculté des sciences > Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère
Déposé par: Julie Mireille Thériault
Date de dépôt: 22 sept. 2022 10:08
Dernière modification: 22 sept. 2022 10:08
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