Articles | Volume 26, issue 8
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed underthe Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Stochastic daily rainfall generation on tropical islands with complex topography
- Final revised paper (published on 27 Apr 2022)
- Supplement to the final revised paper
- Preprint (discussion started on 08 Sep 2021)
- Supplement to the preprint
Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor |
: Report abuse
RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-453', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Oct 2021
- AC1: 'Response to the comments of Reviewer1', Lionel Benoit, 16 Nov 2021
RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-453', Geoff Pegram, 07 Oct 2021
- AC2: 'Response to the comments of Prof. Geoff Pegram (Reviewer2)', Lionel Benoit, 16 Nov 2021
Peer review completion
AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (further review by editor and referees) (02 Dec 2021) by Lelys Bravo de Guenni
AR by Lionel Benoit on behalf of the Authors (12 Jan 2022)  Author's response Author's tracked changes Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by editor) (07 Feb 2022) by Lelys Bravo de Guenni
AR by Lionel Benoit on behalf of the Authors (11 Feb 2022)  Author's response Author's tracked changes Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (15 Mar 2022) by Lelys Bravo de Guenni
AR by Lionel Benoit on behalf of the Authors (23 Mar 2022)  Author's response Manuscript
The authors propose a new (I think) multisite daily precipitation generator, designed for use in tropical islands which are characterised by complex topography and associated orographic effects on rainfall, together with relatively stable prevailing weather directions. Their approach is to classify each day into one of several “rainfall types” which each has its own spatial joint distribution of rainfall.
Some of the ideas in the paper are potentially interesting. However, the existing literature on weather generators (particularly for daily precipitation) is vast: to justify yet another new approach therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate that it improves on existing methods in some way (it could be the performance of the method, its ease of implementation, its range of applicability, its computational feasibility etc.). The authors do not provide any such demonstration, perhaps because they don’t seem aware of the state of the art in the area. Literature that seems particularly relevant includes that on Hidden Markov Models (e.g. Hughes et al. 1999; Ailliot et al. 2009): this uses the same basic idea of classifying each day on the basis of the joint spatial distribution of precipitation, but does so in what seems to be a more principled way than the present paper. Moreover, approaches using generalised linear models with topographical indices as covariates (e.g. Ambrosino et al. 2014; Chandler 2020) address the issue of topographical variability directly: it’s not obvious to me that such approaches would fail in a tropical island setting. I am also surprised that the paper doesn’t cite Maraun et al. (2010) which has become almost the canonical reference for anyone working in this area.
In view of the concerns above, as well as some technical issues (see detailed comments below), I don’t think the paper merits publication in its current form. To make the case, the authors need to demonstrate that their approach improves on existing methods in some way as described above. Ideally, this would be done by carrying out an informed and fair comparison with a leading alternative method: if this isn’t possible then the authors should explain why, and should offer some informed discussion of how their approach might reasonably be expected to compare.
These concerns are quite major. I therefore haven't worried too much about details such as the choice of meteorological covariates: there's no point in thinking about those until I'm convinced that the modelling approach is sound and necessary. Nonetheless, I have a few more detailed comments on the paper, that should be addressed in any revision. They are as follows: