Nonstationary stochastic rain type generation: accounting for climate drivers

Benoit, Lionel; Vrac, Mathieu; Mariethoz, Gregoire

At subdaily resolution, rain intensity exhibits a strong variability in space and time, which is favorably modeled using stochastic approaches. This strong variability is further enhanced because of the diversity of processes that produce rain (e.g., frontal storms, mesoscale convective systems and local convection), which results in a multiplicity of space–time patterns embedded into rain fields and in turn leads to the nonstationarity of rain statistics. To account for this nonstationarity in the context of stochastic weather generators and therefore preserve the relationships between rainfall properties and climatic drivers, we propose to resort to rain type simulation.

In this paper, we develop a new approach based on multiple-point statistics to simulate rain type time series conditional to meteorological covariates. The rain type simulation method is tested by a cross-validation procedure using a 17-year-long rain type time series defined over central Germany. Evaluation results indicate that the proposed approach successfully captures the relationships between rain types and meteorological covariates. This leads to a proper simulation of rain type occurrence, persistence and transitions. After validation, the proposed approach is applied to generate rain type time series conditional to meteorological covariates simulated by a regional climate model under an RCP8.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway) emission scenario. Results indicate that, by the end of the century, the distribution of rain types could be modified over the area of interest, with an increased frequency of convective- and frontal-like rains at the expense of more stratiform events.

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Benoit, Lionel / Vrac, Mathieu / Mariethoz, Gregoire: Nonstationary stochastic rain type generation: accounting for climate drivers. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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