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Rainfall frequency Analysis Based in Long-Term High-Resolution Radar Rainfall Fields: Spatial Heterogeneities and Temporal Nonstationarities
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  • James A Smith,
  • Mary Lynn Baeck,
  • Andrew J. Miller,
  • Elijah L Claggett
James A Smith
Princeton University

Corresponding Author:jsmith@princeton.edu

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Mary Lynn Baeck
Princeton University
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Andrew J. Miller
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
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Elijah L Claggett
University of Maryland Baltimore County
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Rainfall frequency analyses are presented for the Baltimore Metropolitan region based on a 22-year, high-resolution radar rainfall data set.
Analyses focus on spatial heterogeneities and time trends in sub-daily rainfall extremes.
The rainfall data set covers a domain of 4900 $km^2$, has a spatial resolution of approximately 1 km and a time resolution of 15 minutes.
The data set combines reflectivity-based rainfall fields during the period from 2000 - 2015 and operational polarimetric rainfall fields for the period from 2012 - 2021.
Analyses of rainfall fields during the 2012 - 2015 overlap period provide grounding for assessing time trends in rainfall frequency.
There are pronounced spatial gradients in short-duration rainfall extremes over the study region, with peak values of rainfall between Baltimore City and Chesapeake Bay.
Rainfall frequency analyses using both peaks-over-threshold and annual peak methods point to increasing trends in short-duration rainfall extremes over the period from 2000 to 2021.
Intercomparisons of sub-daily rainfall extremes with daily extremes show significant differences.
Less than 50$\% $ of annual maximum hourly values occur on the same day as the daily maximum and there is relatively weak correlation between magnitudes when the hourly and daily maximum overlap. Changing measurement properties are a key challenge for application of radar rainfall data sets to detection of time trends.
Mean field bias correction of radar rainfall fields using rain gauge observations is both an important component of the 22-year rainfall data set and a useful tool for addressing problems associated with changing radar measurement properties.
28 Jun 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
29 Jun 2023Published in ESS Open Archive