06 Jul 2021

06 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Modeling seasonal variations of extreme rainfall on different time scales in Germany

Jana Ulrich, Felix S. Fauer, and Henning W. Rust Jana Ulrich et al.
  • Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, Carl-Heinrich-Becker-Weg 6-12, 12165 Berlin, Germany

Abstract. We model monthly precipitation maxima at 132 stations in Germany for a wide range of durations from one minute to about six days using a duration-dependent generalized extreme value (d-GEV) distribution with monthly varying parameters. This allows for the estimation of both monthly and annual intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) curves: (1) The monthly IDF curves are steeper in summer and exhibit higher intensities for short durations than in the rest of the year. Thus, everywhere in Germany short convective extreme events occur very likely in summer. In contrast, extreme events with a duration of several hours up to about one day are more likely to occur within a longer period or even spread throughout the whole year, depending on the station. There are major differences within Germany with respect to the months in which long-lasting stratiform extreme events are more likely to occur. At some stations the IDF curves (for a given quantile) for different months intersect. The meteorological interpretation of this intersection is that the season at which a certain extreme event is most likely to occur shifts from summer towards autumn or winter for longer durations. (2) We compare the annual IDF curves resulting from the monthly model with those estimated conventionally, that is, based on modeling annual maxima. We find that adding information in the form of smooth variations during the year leads to a considerable reduction of uncertainties. We additionally observe that at some stations, the annual IDF curves obtained by modeling monthly maxima deviate from the assumption of scale invariance, resulting in a flattening in the slope of the IDF curves for long durations.

Jana Ulrich et al.

Status: open (until 31 Aug 2021)

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Jana Ulrich et al.

Data sets

Monthly precipitation intensity maxima for 14 aggregation times at 132 stations in Germany Jana Ulrich; Felix S. Fauer; Henning W. Rust

Jana Ulrich et al.


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Short summary
The characteristics of extreme precipitation on different time scales as well as in different seasons are relevant information e.g. for designing hydrological structures or managing water supplies. Therefore, our aim is to describe these characteristics simultaneously within one model. We find similar characteristics for short extreme precipitation at all considered stations in Germany, but pronounced regional differences with respect to the seasonality of long-lasting extreme events.