Extreme precipitation events are one of the leading causes of natural hazards to human lives and society, as they can lead to major flooding, soil erosion and landslides. Both observations and the models have shown a robust increase in extreme precipitation events in current and future climate, and this increase is generally attributed with increased moisture content in the atmosphere. However, the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation does not follow a linear relationship with the Clausius-Clapeyon (CC) rate, nor does the mean precipitation. The nonlinearities are generally considered due to different controlling mechanisms of the mean and extreme precipitation. While the global radiative convective balance provides a plausible explanation to the trend of mean precipitation, similar mechanism for quantitatively explaining the trends in extreme precipitation is still missing. To understand the extreme precipitation, I will show a modeling study that examines the moisture sources of precipitation events over the continental US, followed by some statistical analysis that examines the relationship between the trends in mean and extreme precipitation in the last few decades. Finally, I will present our recent improvement of an Extreme Precipitation Monitoring System that effectively uses high resolution, but short satellite precipitation record to statistically model and monitor very rare precipitation events using near-real time TRMM and GPM products.
Seminar Series Coordinators