Comparing spatial metrics of extreme precipitation between data from rain gauges, weather radar and high-resolution climate model re-analyses

Emma Dybro Thomassen, Søren Liedtke Thorndahl, Christoffer Bang Andersen, Ida Bülow Gregersen, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Hjalte Jomo Danielsen Sørup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The representation of extreme precipitation at small spatio-temporal scales is of major importance in urban hydrology. The present study compares point and radar observations to reanalyse climate model output data for a period of 14 years where there is full spatial and temporal overlap between datasets. The datasets are compared with respect to seasonality of occurrence, intensity levels and spatial structure of the extreme events. All datasets have similar seasonal distributions and comparable intensity levels. There are, however, clear differences in the spatial correlation structure of the extremes. Seemingly, the radar data is the best representation of a “real” spatial structure for extreme precipitation, even though challenges appear in data when moving far from the physical radar. The spatial correlation in point observations is a valid representation of the spatial structure of extreme precipitation. The convective-permitting climate model seems to represent the spatial structure of extreme precipitation much more realistically, compared to the coarser convective parameterized model. However, there is still room for improvement of the convective-permitting climate model for the shortest rainfall durations and smallest spatial scales in comparison with point and radar data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number127915
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume610
Number of pages9
ISSN0022-1694
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Convective permitting model
  • e-folding distance
  • ERA-Interim
  • Intensity-duration frequency curves
  • Regional climate model
  • Spatial correlation
  • Weather radar

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