On the links between sub-seasonal clustering of extreme precipitation and high discharge in Switzerland and Europe

Tuel, Alexandre; Schaefli, Bettina; Zscheischler, Jakob; Martius, Olivia (2022). On the links between sub-seasonal clustering of extreme precipitation and high discharge in Switzerland and Europe. Hydrology and earth system sciences, 26(10), pp. 2649-2669. European Geosciences Union EGU 10.5194/hess-26-2649-2022

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River discharge is impacted by the sub-seasonal (weekly to monthly) temporal structure of precipitation. One example is the successive occurrence of extreme precipitation events over sub-seasonal timescales, referred to as temporal clustering. Its potential effects on discharge have received little attention. Here, we address this topic by analysing discharge observations following extreme precipitation events either clustered in time or occurring in isolation. We rely on two sets of precipitation and discharge data, one centred on Switzerland and the other over Europe. We identify “clustered” extreme precipitation events based on the previous occurrence of another extreme precipitation within a given time window. We find that clustered events are generally followed by a more prolonged discharge response with a larger amplitude. The probability of exceeding the 95th discharge percentile in 5 d following an extreme precipitation event is in particular up to twice as high for situations where another extreme precipitation event occurred in the preceding week compared to isolated extreme precipitation events. The influence of temporal clustering on discharge decreases as the clustering window increases; beyond 6–8 weeks the difference in discharge response with non-clustered events is negligible. Catchment area, streamflow regime and precipitation magnitude also modulate the response. The impact of clustering is generally smaller in snow-dominated and large catchments. Additionally, particularly persistent periods of high discharge tend to occur in conjunction with temporal clusters of precipitation extremes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Hydrology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Impact
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Tuel, Alexandre; Schaefli, Bettina; Zscheischler, Jakob and Romppainen-Martius, Olivia

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

1607-7938

Publisher:

European Geosciences Union EGU

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] Swiss Science Foundation ; [4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [UNSPECIFIED] Helmholtz Initiative

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lara Maude Zinkl

Date Deposited:

20 Oct 2022 08:11

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:26

Publisher DOI:

10.5194/hess-26-2649-2022

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/173927

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/173927

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