Lookup NU author(s): Dr Steven Chan,
Professor Hayley Fowler,
Dr Stephen Blenkinsop
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Flash flooding is often caused by sub-hourly rainfall extremes. Here, we examine southern UK sub-hourly 10 min rainfall from Met Office state-of-the-art convective-permitting model simulations for the present and future climate. Observational studies have shown that the duration of rainfall can decrease with temperature in summer in some regions. The duration decrease coincides with an intensification of sub-hourly rainfall extremes. This suggests that rainfall duration and sub-hourly rainfall intensity may change in future under climate change with important implications for future changes in flash flooding risk. The simulations show clear intensification of sub-hourly rainfall, but we fail to detect any decrease in rainfall duration. In fact, model results suggest the opposite with a slight (probably insignificant) lengthening of both extreme and non-extreme rainfall events in the future. The lengthening is driven by rainfall intensification without clear changes in the shape of the event profile. Other metrics are also examined, including the relationship between intense 10 min rainfall and temperature, and return levels changes; all are consistent with results found for hourly rainfall. No evaluation of model performance at the sub-hourly timescale is possible, highlighting the need for high-quality sub-hourly observations. Such sub-hourly observations will advance our understanding of the future risks of flash flooding.
Author(s): Chan SC, Kendon EJ, Roberts NM, Fowler HJ, Blenkinsop S
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Environmental Research Letters
Online publication date: 20/09/2016
Acceptance date: 05/09/2016
ISSN (electronic): 1748-9326
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
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