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New PCIC Science Brief: Projected Changes to Short-Duration Extreme Rainfall

The latest PCIC Science Brief covers a review paper by Westra et al. on future changes to short-duration extreme rainfall. Their work, published in the journal Reviews of Geophysics, summarizes current research on the analysis of future changes to the intensity, duration and frequency of short-duration extreme rainfall. They find that in some locations short-duration extreme precipitation does not simply scale with the ability of the atmosphere to hold moisture as given by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, but instead increases more strongly with warming between 12 and 24 °C, in part due to an increase in convective rainfall. It also appears to weaken at these locations above 24 °C. The authors also discuss the current state of observations of sub-daily rainfall and the ability of models to simulate them. One implication of the authors’ findings is that it will be some time before it will be possible to make credible projections of sub-daily rainfall events.

Read this Science Brief.

Westra, S., et al., 2014: Future changes to the intensity and frequency of short-duration extreme rainfall. Reviews of Geophysics, 52, 522-555, doi:10.1002/2014RG000464.