Diverse Characteristics of U.S. Summer Heat Waves
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

All these words:

For very narrow results

This exact word or phrase:

When looking for a specific result

Any of these words:

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

None of these words:

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Publication Date Range:


Document Data


Document Type:






Clear All

Query Builder

Query box

Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Diverse Characteristics of U.S. Summer Heat Waves

Filetype[PDF-6.49 MB]

Select the Download button to view the document
This document is over 5mb in size and cannot be previewed


  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Climate
  • Description:
    Heat waves are climate extremes having significant environmental and social impacts. However, there is no universally accepted definition of a heat wave. The major goal of this study is to compare characteristics of continental U.S. warm season (May–September) heat waves defined using four different variables—temperature itself and three variables incorporating atmospheric moisture—all for differing intensity and duration requirements. To normalize across different locations and climates, daily intensity is defined using percentiles computed over the 1979–2013 period. The primary data source is the U.S. Historical Climatological Network (USHCN), with humidity data from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) also tested and utilized. The results indicate that heat waves defined using daily maximum temperatures are more frequent and persistent than when based on minimum temperatures, with substantial regional variations in behavior. For all four temperature variables, heat waves based on daily minimum values have greater spatial coherency than for daily maximum values. Regionally, statistically significant upward trends (1979–2013) in heat wave frequency are identified, largest when based on daily minimum values, across variables. Other notable differences in behavior include a higher frequency of heat waves based on maximum temperature itself than for variables that include humidity, while daily minimum temperatures show greater similarity across all variables in this regard. Overall, the study provides a baseline to compare with results from climate model simulations and projections, for examining differing regional and large-scale circulation patterns associated with U.S. summer heat waves and for examining the role of land surface conditions in modulating regional variations in heat wave behavior.
  • Source:
    Journal of Climate, 30(19), 7827-7845
  • Document Type:
  • Place as Subject:
  • Rights Information:
  • Compliance:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

  • No Additional Files

More +

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at repository.library.noaa.gov

Version 3.26