skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Detected Changes in Precipitation Extremes at Their Native Scales Derived from In Situ Measurements

Abstract

The gridding of daily accumulated precipitation—especially extremes—from ground-based station observations is problematic due to the fractal nature of precipitation, and therefore estimates of long period return values and their changes based on such gridded daily datasets are generally underestimated. In this paper, we characterize high-resolution changes in observed extreme precipitation from 1950 to 2017 for the contiguous United States (CONUS) based on in situ measurements only. Our analysis utilizes spatial statistical methods that allow us to derive gridded estimates that do not smooth extreme daily measurements and are consistent with statistics from the original station data while increasing the resulting signal-to-noise ratio. Furthermore, we use a robust statistical technique to identify significant pointwise changes in the climatology of extreme precipitation while carefully controlling the rate of false positives. We present and discuss seasonal changes in the statistics of extreme precipitation: the largest and most spatially coherent pointwise changes are in fall (SON), with approximately 33% of CONUS exhibiting significant changes (in an absolute sense). Other seasons display very few meaningful pointwise changes (in either a relative or absolute sense), illustrating the difficulty in detecting pointwise changes in extreme precipitation based on in situ measurements. While our main result involves seasonalmore » changes, we also present and discuss annual changes in the statistics of extreme precipitation. In this paper we only seek to detect changes over time and leave attribution of the underlying causes of these changes for future work.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1573098
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1577831
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8755
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Citation Formats

Risser, Mark D., Paciorek, Christopher J., O’Brien, Travis A., Wehner, Michael F., and Collins, William D. Detected Changes in Precipitation Extremes at Their Native Scales Derived from In Situ Measurements. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-19-0077.1.
Risser, Mark D., Paciorek, Christopher J., O’Brien, Travis A., Wehner, Michael F., & Collins, William D. Detected Changes in Precipitation Extremes at Their Native Scales Derived from In Situ Measurements. United States. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-19-0077.1.
Risser, Mark D., Paciorek, Christopher J., O’Brien, Travis A., Wehner, Michael F., and Collins, William D. Mon . "Detected Changes in Precipitation Extremes at Their Native Scales Derived from In Situ Measurements". United States. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-19-0077.1.
@article{osti_1573098,
title = {Detected Changes in Precipitation Extremes at Their Native Scales Derived from In Situ Measurements},
author = {Risser, Mark D. and Paciorek, Christopher J. and O’Brien, Travis A. and Wehner, Michael F. and Collins, William D.},
abstractNote = {The gridding of daily accumulated precipitation—especially extremes—from ground-based station observations is problematic due to the fractal nature of precipitation, and therefore estimates of long period return values and their changes based on such gridded daily datasets are generally underestimated. In this paper, we characterize high-resolution changes in observed extreme precipitation from 1950 to 2017 for the contiguous United States (CONUS) based on in situ measurements only. Our analysis utilizes spatial statistical methods that allow us to derive gridded estimates that do not smooth extreme daily measurements and are consistent with statistics from the original station data while increasing the resulting signal-to-noise ratio. Furthermore, we use a robust statistical technique to identify significant pointwise changes in the climatology of extreme precipitation while carefully controlling the rate of false positives. We present and discuss seasonal changes in the statistics of extreme precipitation: the largest and most spatially coherent pointwise changes are in fall (SON), with approximately 33% of CONUS exhibiting significant changes (in an absolute sense). Other seasons display very few meaningful pointwise changes (in either a relative or absolute sense), illustrating the difficulty in detecting pointwise changes in extreme precipitation based on in situ measurements. While our main result involves seasonal changes, we also present and discuss annual changes in the statistics of extreme precipitation. In this paper we only seek to detect changes over time and leave attribution of the underlying causes of these changes for future work.},
doi = {10.1175/jcli-d-19-0077.1},
journal = {Journal of Climate},
number = 23,
volume = 32,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-19-0077.1

Save / Share: