Wisconsin’s Central Sands Hydroclimatology: Characterization, Forecasting, and Impacts on Real Estate
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Hydroclimatological variability often stresses resource and economic conditions locally and globally. The Wisconsin Central Sands, a region in the upper Midwest, has many interests with strong connections to local water resources and is used as a case study to explore capabilities of seasonal forecasts and economic implications of interannual hydrologic conditions. While seasonal climate forecasts have been posed as a means to anticipate hydroclimatological variability, teleconnections with sea surface temperatures, atmospheric moisture transport, and precipitation become damped and more difficult to model inland over longer distances, such as the upper Midwest of the United States. Currently, dynamical models have exhibited limited performance reproducing the physical processes associated with long distance, continental atmospheric moisture transport. The capabilities of statistical data driven models to identify preseason signals understood to be associated with the mechanisms of atmospheric moisture transport are explored. Results indicate the primary mode of atmospheric moisture transport is accurately captured, primarily during strong La Niña events, and the model produces modest precipitation forecast skill, specifically with respect to forecasting drought conditions. Negative economic impacts associated with drought and decreased residential property values within the Wisconsin Central Sands are reported by local and regional journalists, but no known formal analyses have been performed. Analyses performed with real estate transactions and hydrologic data indicate non-lakefront residential real estate is relatively insensitive to interannual changes in hydrologic conditions whereas a relatively strong positive relationship exists between interannual changes in hydrologic conditions and lakefront real estate.