Flash Drought Development and Cascading Impacts Associated with the 2010 Russian Heatwave
Wednesday, March 25th
3:00pm Central Time (US and Canada)/Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 505 651 584
The 2010 western Russian heatwave was characterized by historically high surface temperatures that led to devastating impacts on the environment, economy, and society. Recent studies have attributed a quasi-stationary upper level ridge, sensible heat advection, and land-atmosphere temperature coupling as the primary components for the development of the heatwave event. The results presented here reveal that rapid drought intensification occurred prior to the extreme atmospheric conditions associated with the heatwave. The flash drought event developed from a lack of rainfall coupled with enhanced evaporative demand and resulted in rapid desiccation of the land surface. The region that underwent rapid drought intensification acted to prime the land-atmosphere interactions necessary to supplement the excessive surface temperatures experienced during the heatwave event while also providing a source region for the advection of warm, dry air to promote heatwave development downwind of the flash drought location. As such, the hydrometeorological extremes associated with the precursor flash drought and heatwave resulted in cascading impacts that severely affected ecosystems, agriculture, and human health. Given these findings, it is concluded that flash drought impacts should be expanded beyond vegetative and agricultural applications and should be viewed as a possible precursor and direct forcing for heatwave events and associated impacts.