TITLE

Temporal and spatial scaling impacts on extreme precipitation

AUTHOR(S)
Eggert, B.; Berg, P.; Haerter, J. O.; Jacob, D.; Moseley, C.
PUB. DATE
January 2015
SOURCE
Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics Discussions;2015, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p2157
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Both in the current climate and in the light of climate change, understanding of the causes and risk of precipitation extremes is essential for protection of human life and adequate design of infrastructure. Precipitation extreme events depend qualitatively on the temporal and spatial scales at which they are measured, in part due to the distinct types of rain formation processes that dominate extremes at different scales. To capture these differences, we first filter large datasets of high-resolution radar measurements over Germany (5min temporally and 1 km spatially) using synoptic cloud observations, to distinguish convective and stratiform rain events. In a second step, for each precipitation type, the observed data are aggregated over a sequence of time intervals and spatial areas. The resulting matrix allows a detailed investigation of the resolutions at which convective or stratiform events are expected to contribute most to the extremes. We analyze where the statistics of the two types differ and discuss at which resolutions transitions occur between dominance of either of the two precipitation types. We characterize the scales at which the convective or stratiform events will dominate the statistics. For both types, we further develop a mapping between pairs of spatially and temporally aggregated statistics. The resulting curve is relevant when deciding on data resolutions where statistical information in space and time is balanced. Our study may hence also serve as a practical guide for modelers, and for planning the space-time layout of measurement campaigns. We also describe a mapping between different pairs of resolutions, possibly relevant when working with mismatched model and observational resolutions, such as in statistical bias correction.
ACCESSION #
100784867

 

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