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Temperature-extreme precipitation scaling: A two-way causality?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Renaud Barbero, Professor Hayley Fowler

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Abstract

© 2017 Royal Meteorological Society. Extreme precipitation events are widely thought to intensify in a warmer atmosphere through the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The temperature-extreme precipitation scaling was proposed to analyse the temperature dependency of short-duration extreme precipitation and since then, the concept has been widely used in climatology. Bao et al. (2017) suggest that the apparent scaling reflects not only how surface air properties affect extreme precipitation, but also reflects how synoptic conditions and localized cooling due to the storm itself affect the scaling - implying two-way causality. We address here critical issues of this paper and provide evidence that dew point temperature drives extreme precipitation, with the direction of causality reversed only for the storm's peak intensity. This physical inference may serve as a basis to better quantify scaling rates and to help establish the relationship between extreme precipitation and environmental conditions in the current climate, and thereby provide insights into future changes to precipitation extremes due to climate change.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Barbero R, Westra S, Lenderink G, Fowler HJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Climatology

Year: 2018

Volume: 38

Issue: S1

Pages: e1274-e1279

Print publication date: 01/04/2018

Online publication date: 05/12/2017

Acceptance date: 31/10/2017

Date deposited: 31/01/2018

ISSN (print): 0899-8418

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0088

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd

URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.5370

DOI: 10.1002/joc.5370


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