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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 Dec 2018

Research article | 07 Dec 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Precipitation extremes in a EURO-CORDEX 0.11° ensemble at hourly resolution

Peter Berg1, Ole B. Christensen2, Katharina Klehmet1, Geert Lenderink3, Jonas Olsson1, Claas Teichmann4, and Wei Yang1 Peter Berg et al.
  • 1Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Folkborgsvägen 17, 610 76 Norrköping, Sweden
  • 2Danish Meteorological Institute, Lyngbyvej 100, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3KNMI Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Utrechtseweg 297, 3731 GA De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • 4Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Fischertwiete 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. Regional climate model simulations have routinely been applied to assess changes in precipitation extremes at daily time steps. However, shorter sub-daily extremes have not received as much attention. This is likely because of the limited availability of high temporal resolution data, both for observations and for model outputs. Here, summertime depth duration frequencies of a sub-set of the EURO-CORDEX 0.11° ensemble is evaluated with observations for several European countries for durations of one to 12 h. Most of the model simulations strongly underestimate 10-year depths for durations up to a few hours, but do better on 12 h durations. All models fail in reproducing observed spatial patterns over Germany for durations shorter than 12 h, but all reproduce the pattern at least partly at 12 h duration. Large-scale driven spatial patterns, such as the extreme depths in southern France are better captured also at shorter durations, albeit severely underestimated. Projected changes are assessed by relating relative depth changes to mean temperature changes. A strong relationship with temperature is found across sub-regions of Europe, the emission scenario and future time period. However, there is an equally strong dependency on the global and regional model applied, with a spread in scaling of around 1–10 %/K at 12 h duration, and generally higher values at shorter durations.

Peter Berg et al.
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Peter Berg et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A state-of-the-art regional climate model ensemble for Europe is investigated for extreme precipitation intensities. The models poorly reproduce short duration events of less than a few hours. Further, there is poor connection to some known hot-spots for extremes. The model performance is much improved at twelve hour durations. Projected future increases scales with seasonal mean temperature change, within a range of a few to over 10 percent per degree Celsius.
A state-of-the-art regional climate model ensemble for Europe is investigated for extreme...