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Enhanced summer convection explains observed trends in extreme subdaily precipitation in the northeastern Italian Alps
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  • Eleonora Dallan,
  • Marco Borga,
  • Mattia Zaramella,
  • Francesco Marra
Eleonora Dallan
University of Padua, University of Padua

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Marco Borga
Università di Padova,University of Padova, Università di Padova,University of Padova
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Mattia Zaramella
University of Padova, University of Padova
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Francesco Marra
Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council
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Understanding past changes in precipitation extremes could help us predict their dynamics under future conditions. We present a novel approach for analyzing trends in extremes and attributing them to changes in the local precipitation regime. The approach relies on the separation between intensity distribution and occurrence frequency of storms. We examine the relevant case of the eastern Italian Alps, where significant trends in annual maximum precipitation over the past decades were observed. The model is able to reproduce observed trends at all durations between 15 minutes and 24 hours, and allows to quantify trends in extreme return levels. Despite the significant increase in storms occurrence and typical intensity, the observed trends can be only explained considering changes in the tail heaviness of the intensity distribution, that is the proportion between heavy and mild events. Our results suggest these are caused by an increased proportion of summer convective storms.