Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-153
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-153
 
30 Mar 2021
30 Mar 2021

Intercomparison of global reanalysis precipitation for flood risk modelling

Fergus McClean1, Richard Dawson1, and Chris Kilsby1,2 Fergus McClean et al.
  • 1School of Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
  • 2Willis Research Network, 51 Lime St., London, EC3M 7DQ, UK

Abstract. Reanalysis datasets are increasingly used to drive flood models, especially for continental and global analysis, and in areas of data scarcity. However, the consequence of this for risk estimation has not been fully explored. We investigate the impact of using four reanalysis products (ERA-5, CFSR, MERRA-2 and JRA-55) on simulations of historic flood events in Northern England. These results are compared to a benchmark national gauge-based product (CEH-GEAR1hr). All reanalysis products predicted fewer buildings would be inundated by the events than the national dataset. JRA-55 was the worst by a significant margin, underestimating by 40 % compared with 14–18 % for the other reanalysis products. CFSR estimated building inundation the most accurately, while ERA-5 demonstrated the lowest error in terms of river stage (29.4 %) and floodplain depth (28.6 %). Accuracy varied geographically and no product performed the best across all basins. Global reanalysis products provide a useful resource for flood modelling where no other data is available, but they should be used with caution. Until a more systematic international strategy for the collection of rainfall data ensures more complete global coverage of validation data, multiple reanalysis products should be used concurrently to capture the range of uncertainties.

Journal article(s) based on this preprint

Fergus McClean et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-153', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Fergus McClean, 29 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-153', Paul Bates, 02 Jun 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Fergus McClean, 29 Jun 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) (10 Aug 2021) by Jim Freer
AR by Fergus McClean on behalf of the Authors (21 Sep 2021)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (further review by editor and referees) (12 Oct 2021) by Jim Freer
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (29 Nov 2021) by Jim Freer
RR by Anonymous Referee #1 (17 Dec 2021)
RR by Paul Bates (14 Jan 2022)
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (further review by editor and referees) (09 Feb 2022) by Jim Freer
AR by Fergus McClean on behalf of the Authors (31 May 2022)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (19 Oct 2022) by Jim Freer
RR by Paul Bates (18 Nov 2022)
ED: Publish as is (28 Nov 2022) by Jim Freer

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-153', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Fergus McClean, 29 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-153', Paul Bates, 02 Jun 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Fergus McClean, 29 Jun 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) (10 Aug 2021) by Jim Freer
AR by Fergus McClean on behalf of the Authors (21 Sep 2021)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (further review by editor and referees) (12 Oct 2021) by Jim Freer
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (29 Nov 2021) by Jim Freer
RR by Anonymous Referee #1 (17 Dec 2021)
RR by Paul Bates (14 Jan 2022)
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (further review by editor and referees) (09 Feb 2022) by Jim Freer
AR by Fergus McClean on behalf of the Authors (31 May 2022)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (19 Oct 2022) by Jim Freer
RR by Paul Bates (18 Nov 2022)
ED: Publish as is (28 Nov 2022) by Jim Freer

Journal article(s) based on this preprint

Fergus McClean et al.

Fergus McClean et al.

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Short summary
Reanalysis datasets are increasingly used to drive flood models, especially for continental and global analysis. We investigate the impact of using four reanalysis products on simulations of historic flood events. All reanalysis products underestimated the number of buildings inundated, CFSR by the least (14 %) and JRA-55 the most (40 %). These findings show that while global reanalyses provide a useful resource for flood modelling where no other data is available, they must be used with caution.