Assessing and quantifying changes in precipitation patterns using event-driven analysis

Jorge A. Guzman, Maria L. Chu, Jean L. Steiner, Patrick J. Starks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study region The Little Washita River Experimental Watershed (LWREW) is located between Chickasha and Lawton in southwestern Oklahoma, US. Study focus In this study, frequency analyses were conducted on sub-hourly precipitation event descriptors to quantify the changes in precipitation patterns commonly masked in annual analysis. Precipitation events were derived from 5-min data collected by USDA-ARS from 1961 to 2015. New hydrological insights for the region During the 1962–2015 period, this region experienced successive regional long-term wet (1962–1995) and dry (1996–2015) dominated periods of more than 20 years each. During the wet period, precipitation intensity ranging from 1 to 12 mm were 20% less likely to occur while event daily average precipitation and number of events increased by 10% and 11%, respectively. Also, the average daily precipitation occurred more often at lower intensities. In contrast, during the dry period, instantaneous intensity ranging from 1 to 12 mm became more likely to occur (64% increase; 1996–2015) while event daily average precipitation and number of events decreased by 16% and 18%, respectively. Overall, comparisons with the baseline data (1962–2015) indicated that in the last 20 years, sub-hourly precipitation intensities have increased while daily event duration and extreme 5-min precipitation intensities larger than 24 mm (precipitation intensification below extremes) have remained unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Hydrology: Regional Studies
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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Keywords

  • Climate trends
  • Little Washita River Experimental Watershed
  • Non-stationary precipitation
  • Precipitation variability and change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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