Analysis of frequency and magnitude of extreme rainfall events with potential impacts on flooding: a case study from the central United States

Author: Rahmani, V.; Hutchinson, S. L.; Harrington John A., J. & Hutchinson, J. M. S.

Description: Climate variability and change can impact rainfall by varying time, location, magnitude, and frequency of precipitation events. Fluctuations in heavy rainfall events can impact flooding and drought events and water management systems. This research addresses temporal and spatial distributions of extreme daily and monthly rainfall in Kansas using daily rainfall data from 23 stations for the period 1890–2013. The Mann–Kendall non‐parametric method was used in trend analysis. Results indicate an increasing trend in the annual daily maximum rainfall, and an increase in the annual number of rainfall events above the 90th, 95th, and 99th percentile thresholds at a majority of stations since 1890. The most recent 30‐year climate normal period (1981–2010) was selected to assess contemporary change compared to the entire period (1890–2013). Most stations have a steeper positive slope for all extreme rainfall parameters for 1981–2010. Generally, western Kansas receives smaller and fewer extreme storms than eastern Kansas with respect to both magnitude and frequency.

Since 1890, June has been the month that receives the greatest amount of rain in each year at a majority of stations (18 of 23). Stations in eastern Kansas tend to experience earlier maximum rainfall on a monthly basis than central and western stations. Earlier annual maximum monthly rains can affect soil moisture and runoff generation. Timely maintenance and improvement in water, soil, and flood management systems are necessary in order to increase preparedness of the society to flash floods and protect them from water management systems failures.

Subject headings: Rainfall; Precipitation; United States; Climate change; Kansas; Flooding

Publication year: 2016

Journal or book title: International Journal of Climatology

Volume: 36

Issue: 10

Pages: 3578-3587

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Type: Journal article

Serial number: 3078

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