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Using the Meteorological Information for the Regional Rainfall Frequency Analysis: An Application to Sicily

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Abstract

Regional frequency analysis is a useful tool for accurate estimation of precipitation quantiles than at-site frequency analysis, especially in the case of regions with a short rainfall time series. The use of meteorological information, combined with rainfall data analysis, could improve the selection of homogeneous regions. Starting from 1958, 198 meteorological configurations, related to extreme events, have been identified throughout the national territory of Italy. The reanalyzed meteorological data of the 40 Year Re-analysis Archive (ERA-40) of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) have been analyzed to identify homogeneous regions with respect to the Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), the Q vector Divergence (QD) and the Vertically Integrated Moisture Flux (VIMF). The latter index appears to be the better candidate for finding regional homogeneity inside areas where high frequency values of CAPE or QD are present. The paper presents an application based on the delimitation of homogeneous regions using climatic indexes for the island of Sicily. By applying the proposed methodology, seven homogeneous areas over Sicily were found. The consistency of the final results has been validated by using a coupled approach based on the Valuation of Floods in Italy procedure (VAPI) and on the heterogeneity test of Hosking and Wallis (Water Resour Res 29:271–281, 1993, 1997).

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Acknowledgments

The meteorological data are extracted from the ERA40 archive of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Author information

Correspondence to Salvatore Gabriele.

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Gabriele, S., Chiaravalloti, F. Using the Meteorological Information for the Regional Rainfall Frequency Analysis: An Application to Sicily. Water Resour Manage 27, 1721–1735 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-012-0235-6

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Keywords

  • Extreme events
  • Rainfall
  • Regional analysis
  • Climatic homogeneity
  • Meteorological reanalysis data