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Title: Probable Maximum Precipitation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest in a Changing Climate: PMP UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE

Abstract

The safety of large and aging water infrastructures is gaining attention in water management given the accelerated rate of change in landscape, climate and society. In current engineering practice, such safety is ensured by the design of infrastructure for the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP). Recently, several physics-based numerical modeling approaches have been proposed to modernize the conventional and ad hoc PMP estimation approach. However, the underlying physics has not been investigated and thus differing PMP estimates are obtained without clarity on their interpretation. In this study, we present a hybrid approach that takes advantage of both traditional engineering wisdom and modern climate science to estimate PMP for current and future climate conditions. The traditional PMP approach is improved and applied to outputs from an ensemble of five CMIP5 models. This hybrid approach is applied in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) to produce ensemble PMP estimation for the historical (1970-2016) and future (2050-2099) time periods. The new historical PMP estimates are verified by comparing them with the traditional estimates. PMP in the PNW will increase by 50% of the current level by 2099 under the RCP8.5 scenario. Most of the increase is caused by warming, which mainly affects moisture availability, with minormore » contributions from changes in storm efficiency in the future. Moist track change tends to reduce the future PMP. Compared with extreme precipitation, ensemble PMP exhibits higher internal variation. Thus high-quality data of both precipitation and related meteorological fields (temperature, wind fields) are required to reduce uncertainties in the ensemble PMP estimates.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA
  2. Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1439698
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-126184
Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397; KP1703010
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Water Resources Research; Journal Volume: 53; Journal Issue: 11
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Extreme storms; infrastructure; climate change; probable maximum precipitaion

Citation Formats

Chen, Xiaodong, Hossain, Faisal, and Leung, L. Ruby. Probable Maximum Precipitation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest in a Changing Climate: PMP UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2017WR021094.
Chen, Xiaodong, Hossain, Faisal, & Leung, L. Ruby. Probable Maximum Precipitation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest in a Changing Climate: PMP UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE. United States. doi:10.1002/2017WR021094.
Chen, Xiaodong, Hossain, Faisal, and Leung, L. Ruby. Wed . "Probable Maximum Precipitation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest in a Changing Climate: PMP UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE". United States. doi:10.1002/2017WR021094.
@article{osti_1439698,
title = {Probable Maximum Precipitation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest in a Changing Climate: PMP UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE},
author = {Chen, Xiaodong and Hossain, Faisal and Leung, L. Ruby},
abstractNote = {The safety of large and aging water infrastructures is gaining attention in water management given the accelerated rate of change in landscape, climate and society. In current engineering practice, such safety is ensured by the design of infrastructure for the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP). Recently, several physics-based numerical modeling approaches have been proposed to modernize the conventional and ad hoc PMP estimation approach. However, the underlying physics has not been investigated and thus differing PMP estimates are obtained without clarity on their interpretation. In this study, we present a hybrid approach that takes advantage of both traditional engineering wisdom and modern climate science to estimate PMP for current and future climate conditions. The traditional PMP approach is improved and applied to outputs from an ensemble of five CMIP5 models. This hybrid approach is applied in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) to produce ensemble PMP estimation for the historical (1970-2016) and future (2050-2099) time periods. The new historical PMP estimates are verified by comparing them with the traditional estimates. PMP in the PNW will increase by 50% of the current level by 2099 under the RCP8.5 scenario. Most of the increase is caused by warming, which mainly affects moisture availability, with minor contributions from changes in storm efficiency in the future. Moist track change tends to reduce the future PMP. Compared with extreme precipitation, ensemble PMP exhibits higher internal variation. Thus high-quality data of both precipitation and related meteorological fields (temperature, wind fields) are required to reduce uncertainties in the ensemble PMP estimates.},
doi = {10.1002/2017WR021094},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 11,
volume = 53,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Nov 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Nov 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}