Water Resources Management

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 987–1003 | Cite as

Short Duration Rainfall Extremes in Ireland: Influence of Climatic Variability

Article

Abstract

A widely-noted change in the North Atlantic circulation in the 1970s affected the spatial distribution and seasonal pattern of rainfall over Ireland. To examine if this was accompanied by a change on short duration precipitation extremes, multi-decadal time series from the second half of the twentieth century of thirteen hourly precipitation stations in Ireland have been analysed for the occurrence of extreme values over several durations of up to 24 h. Strong evidence was found for a change since the late 1970s in short duration rainfall depths, particularly in the west of the country. Precipitation depth-duration-frequency analyses over two sub-periods showed that at several locations, storm event magnitudes which corresponded to a 30 year return period before 1975 had a return period close to 10 years in the post-1975 period. The widespread increase in spring and autumn rainfall and the local increases in the frequencies and magnitudes of severe rainfalls have implications for engineering hydrology, flood risk analysis and water resources management. The necessity of using up-to-date data to derive design storm magnitudes is stressed, due to the possible influence of underlying climatic shifts. Furthermore, as non-stationarity has been demonstrated, the use of long timeseries extending beyond thirty years into the past will result in underestimation of storm intensities in many areas.

Keywords

Precipitation extremes Climate Nonstationarity Depth-duration-frequency North Atlantic oscillation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adamowski J, Adamowski K, Bougadis J (2009) Influence of trend on short duration design storms. Water Resour Manage 24(3):401–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. AghaKouchak A, Nasrollahi N (2010) Semi-parametric and parametric inference of extreme value models for rainfall data. Water Resour Manage 24(6):1229–1249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander LV, Zhang X, Peterson TC, Caesar J, Gleason B, Tank AMGK, Haylock M, Collins D, Trewin B, Rahimzadeh F, Tagipour A, Kumar KR, Revadekar J, Griffiths G, Vincent L, Stephenson DB, Burn J, Aguilar E, Brunet M, Taylor M, New M, Zhai P, Rusticucci M, Vazquez-Aguirre JL (2006) Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation. J Geophys Res 111(D05109). doi: 10.1029/2005JD006290
  4. Allan R, Tett S, Alexander L (2009) Fluctuations in autumn-winter severe storms over the British Isles: 1920 to present. Int J Climatol 29(3):357–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Butler CJ, Garca-Suarez A, Pallé E (2007) Trends and cycles in long Irish meteorological series. Biology And Environment: Proc R Ir Acad 107b(3):157–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Climatic Research Unit (2008) North Atlantic oscillation data. Internet site. http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/nao.htm
  7. Dykes AP, Warburton J (2008) Failure of peat-covered hillslopes at Dooncarton Mountain, Co. Mayo, Ireland: analysis of topographic and geotechnical factors. Catena 72:129–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Efron B, Tibshirani RJ (1993) An introduction to the bootstrap. In: Monographs on statistics and applied probability, 1st edn, vol 57. Chapman & Hall, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  9. Gençay R, Selçuk F, Ulugülyaǧcı A (2001) EVIM: a software package for extreme value analysis in MATLAB. Stud Nonlinear Dyn Econom 5(3):213–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hickey KR (2003) The storminess record from Armagh observatory, Northern Ireland, 1796–1999. Weather 58(1):28–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hill BM (1975) A simple general approach to inference about the tail of a distribution. Ann Stat 3:1163–1175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jentsch A, Beierkuhnlein C (2008) Research frontiers in climate change: effects of extreme meteorological events on ecosystems. C R Geosci 340:621–628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jones P, Jónsson T, Wheeler D (1997) Extension to the North Atlantic Oscillation using early instrumental pressure observations from Gibraltar and south-west Iceland. Int J Climatol 17:1433–1450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kiely G (1999) Climate change in Ireland from precipitation and streamflow observations. Adv Water Resour 23:141–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Leahy P, Kiely G, Scanlon TM (2004) Managed grasslands: a greenhouse gas sink or source? Geophys Res Lett 31(L20507). doi: 10.1029/2004GL021161 Google Scholar
  16. Leahy P, Kiely G, Corcoran G (2008) Structural optimisation and input selection of an artificial neural network for river level prediction. J Hydrol 355(1–4):192–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Madsen H, Rasmussen PF, Rosbjerg D (1997) Comparison of annual maximum series and partial duration series methods for modeling extreme hydrologic events 1. At-site modeling. Water Resour Res 33(4):747–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maraun D, Osborn TJ., Gillett NP (2008) United Kingdom daily precipitation intensity: improved early data, error estimates and an update from 2000 to 2006. Int J Climatol 28(6):833–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mayes J (2000) Changing regional climatic gradients in the United Kingdom. Geogr J 166(2):125–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Milly PCD, Betancourt J, Falkenmark M, Hirsch RM, Kundzewicz ZW, Lettenmaier DP, Stouffer RJ (2008) Climate change—stationarity is dead: Whither water management? Science 319(5863):573–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Muller A, Arnaud P, Lang M, Lavabre J (2009) Uncertainties of extreme rainfall quantiles estimated by a stochastic rainfall model and by a generalized Pareto distribution. Hydrol Sci J 54(3):417–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Murphy SJ, Washington R (2001) United Kingdom and Ireland precipitation variability and the North Atlantic sea-level pressure field. Int J Climatol 21:939–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ntegeka V, Willems P (2008) Trends and multidecadal oscillations in rainfall extremes, based on a more than 100-year time series of 10 min rainfall intensities at Uccle, Belgium. Water Resour Res 44(W07402). doi: 1029/2007WR006471 Google Scholar
  24. Pauling A, Paeth H (2007) On the variability of return periods of European winter precipitation extremes over the last three centuries. Clim Past 3:65–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Peterson TC, Anderson DM, Cohen SJ, Cortez-Vãzquez M, Murnane RJ, Parmesan C, Phillips D, Pulwarty RS, Stone JM, Houston TG, Cutter SL, Gall M (2008) Why weather and climate extremes matter. Final report, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, Washington DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  26. Pettit AN (1979) A non-parametric approach to the change point problem. Appl Stat 28(2):126–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Picklands J (1975) Statistical inference using extreme order statistics. Ann Stat 3:119–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Previdi M, Liepert BG (2008) Interdecadal variability of rainfall on a warming planet. Eos Trans AGU 89(21):193–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Queralt S, Hernandez E, Barriopedro D, Gallego D, Ribera P, Casanova C (2009) North Atlantic Oscillation influence and weather types associated with winter total and extreme precipitation events in Spain. Atmos Res 94(4, Sp. Iss. SI):675–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reeves J, Chen J, Wang XL, Lund R, Lu Q (2007) A review and comparison of changepoint detection techniques for climate data. J Appl Meterol Clim 46(6):900–915CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rohan PK (1986) The climate of Ireland, 2nd edn. The Stationery Office, DublinGoogle Scholar
  32. Scaife AA, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Moberg A, Knight JR (2008) European climate extremes and the North Atlantic oscillation. J Climate 21(1):72–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stalmann V, Pecher R (1985) Regeln zur wasserwirtschaft. Tech. Rep. DK 551.408.77, Deutscher Verband fur Wasserwirtschaft und Kulturbau e.VGoogle Scholar
  34. Steele-Dunne S, Lynch P, McGrath R, Semmler T, Wang S, Hanafin J, Nolan P (2008) The impacts of climate change on hydrology in Ireland. J Hydrol 356(1–2):28–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Svensson C, Clarke RT, Jones DA (2007) An experimental comparison of methods for estimating rainfall intensity-duration-frequency relations from fragmentary records. J Hydrol 341:79–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sweeney J (2000) A three-century storm climatology for Dublin 1715–2000. Ir Geogr 33:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sweeney JC, O’Hare GP (1992) Geographical variations in precipitation yields and circulation types in Britain and Ireland. Trans Inst Br Geogr 17:448–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Trenberth K, Jones PD, Ambenje P, Bojariu R, Easterling D, Klein Tank A, Parker D, Rahimzadeh F, Renwick J, Rusticucci M, Soden B, Zhai P (2007) Observations: surface and atmospheric climate change. In: Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, chapter 3. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 235–336Google Scholar
  39. Visbeck MH, Hurrell JW, Polvani L, Cullen HM (2001) The North Atlantic Oscillation: past, present, and future. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(23):12876–12877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wentz FJ, Ricciardulli L, Hilburn K, Mears C (2007) How much more rain will global warming bring? Science 317(5835):233–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Werner PC, Gerstengarbe F-W, Fraedrich K, Oesterle H (2000) Recent climate change in the North Atlantic/European sector. Int J Climatol 20(5):463–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. White W (2001) Water in rivers: flooding. Proc Inst Civ Eng Water Marit Eng 2(2):107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Willems P (2000) Compound intensity/duration/frequency-relationships of extreme precipitation for two seasons and two storm types. J Hydrol 233(1–4):189–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhang X, Zwiers FW, Hegerl GC, Lambert FH, Gillett NP, Solomon S, Stott PA, Nozawa T (2007) Detection of human influence on twentieth-century precipitation trends. Nature 448:461–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

Personalised recommendations