High Frequency Trends in the Isotopic Composition of Superstorm Sandy

Stephen P. Good, Derek V. Mallia, Elizabeth H. Denis, Katherine H. Freeman, Xiahong Feng, Shuning Li, Nicolas Zegre, John C. Lin, Gabriel J. Bowen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Reliable forecasts of extra-tropical cyclones such as Superstorm Sandy require accurate understanding of their thermodynamic evolution. Within such systems, the evaporation, transport, and precipitation of moisture alters stable isotope ratios of cyclonic waters and creates spatio-temporal isotopic patterns indicative of synoptic-scale processes. Here, high-frequency records of precipitation isotope ratios from four sites (West Lebanon, NH; Baltimore, MD; State College, PA; and Colcord, WV) are used to investigate the development of Sandy as the storm made landfall and moved inland. These high-frequency records are also combined with a Lagrangian backward transport model to create a general relationship between precipitation deuterium-excess and moisture source conditions. Based on this general relationship, the evolution of precipitation efficiency within Superstorm Sandy is mapped through time using a set of distributed isotope collections. These maps identify a region of high-precipitation efficiency near storm's core where intense rainfall rates likely exceeded the resupply of moisture as well as outlying rain-bands of lower precipitation efficiency possibly influenced by entrainment of a mid-western cold front.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLearning from the Impacts of Superstorm Sandy
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780128016527
ISBN (Print)9780128015209
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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