Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-20-2014

Publication Title

Climate Research

Volume

61

Abstract

Since the spring of 1993, the water surface elevation at Devils Lake, a terminal lake in eastern North Dakota, USA, has risen by 8.8 m, producing more than 1 billion USD in direct flood damages. We examine the relationship between weather-type frequencies at Bismarck, North Dakota, and lake volume changes from 1965 to 2010 using the Spatial Synoptic Classification (SSC) system. First, we find statistically significant changes in the frequency of selected weather types over both annual and seasonal time periods. This indicates a trend toward in - creased advection of more humid weather types that is consistent with the historical rise in lake level. Second, a comparison of weather type frequencies between a subset of years with extreme large and small lake surges, and extreme large and small lake drawdowns, shows that weathertype frequency plays an important role in explaining annual lake volume fluctuations. The results support a climatic explanation for the historical lake rise at Devils Lake, but the relationships are not as strong as might have been anticipated given the unprecedented lake rise that occurred during the study period. A more detailed examination of the complex and non-linear nature of the lake water balance may be needed to further clarify how precipitation input is translated into lake volume changes.

Issue

3

First Page

191

Last Page

201

DOI

10.3354/cr01253

ISSN

1616-1572

Rights

First published in Climate Research.

Available for download on Sunday, October 20, 2019

Included in

Geography Commons

Share

COinS